bell hooks was helmed for her literary career which boasted more than 40 books surrounding feminism, culture, politics, love and spirituality.
Acclaimed author, feminist, critic and educator bell hooks died earlier today at her home in Berea, Kentucky. She was 69.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, bell hooks was surrounded by friends and family when she passed.
Born Gloria Jean Watkins on September 25, 1952 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, hooks was helmed for her literary career which boasted more than 40 books surrounding feminism, culture, politics, love and spirituality. In her nascent career, the author adopted her great-grandmother’s name as her author name in 1978, coining herself “bell hooks” in all lowercase letters.
After attending segregated schools in Christian County, Kentucky, hooks went on to attend Stanford University where she received a Bachelor’s in English in 1973, later earning a master’s degree in English at the University of Wisconsin in 1976 and a doctorate in literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1983.
Prior to graduating from University of California at Santa Cruz, hooks published her first major book, Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism in 1981 which examined Black women having the lowest status in American society in terms of racism, feminism, sexism and other discriminatory positions.
hooks has long been acknowledged as a foremother of Black feminism, defining feminism in Ain’t I A Woman? as “to want for all people, female and male, liberation from sexist role patterns, domination, and oppression.” hooks went on to amass a literary catalog including her works Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (1984), Bone Black (1996), Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (2000) and All About Love (2000).
Beginning her tenure at Berea College in 2004, in 2010, the school opened the bell hooks Institute, housing her personal artifacts, collection of contemporary African-American art and her book catalog, including those published in other languages. Inducted into the Kentucky Writers’ Hall of Fame in 2018, hooks’ legacy has been generational, celebrated by fellow authors and longtime readers since her passing.
Read through tributes to bell hooks below:
The family of @bellhooks is sad to announce the passing of our sister, aunt, great aunt and great great aunt. The author, professor, critic and feminist made her transition early this am from her home, surrounded by family and friends. 🖤
— Enter Ebony (@Enter_Ebony) December 15, 2021
We lost bell hooks. The heart breaks.
— Lisa Lucas (@likaluca) December 15, 2021
it is not hyperbole to say bell hooks saved me and so many of the women i've been blessed to move through this life alongside. what an incalculable loss, my goodness
— Hannah Giorgis | ሐና ጊዮርጊስ (@hannahgiorgis) December 15, 2021
bell hooks has taught me so much. I’m grateful for everything she’s left us with. may she rest in peace.
— Najma Sharif (@overdramatique) December 15, 2021
wow. #restinpower bell hooks. She will forever be essential to Black feminist thought.
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) December 15, 2021
I am heartbroken. bell hooks' words helped to make me the writer i am, taught me me that there is no shame in centering love and tenderness, in approaching and embracing it. with ferocity.she is an everlasting force and blessing may she rest in perfect peace
— Bolu Babalola (@BeeBabs) December 15, 2021
I owe bell hooks more than I could ever give. She helped shape/articulate my politics more than any other scholar. She awakened worlds in me I did not know existed.
Her writing & scholarship broke ground on so many levels & remains radical, relevant, necessary work. RIP bell❤️ pic.twitter.com/BZo4LOr8dO
— CiCi Adams🌸 (@CiCiAdams_) December 15, 2021