Culture

Black Feminist Author bell hooks Dies at 69

The renowned writer produced over 40 books in her lifetime.

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bell hooks, arguably one of the leading voices of Black feminism, gender and race theory, has passed away at age 69.

A pioneer for intersectional and inclusive feminism, long before we could utter the phrase, hooks used her tender yet discerning voice to empower and raise the consciousness of her readers.

Before a time where identity politics dominated political and social justice discourse, hooks put a name to the nuanced and intertwined oppressive forces that make up the white cis-hetero capitalist patriarchy.

Born Gloria Jean Watkins in the racially segregated town of Hopskinville, Kentucky, the poet, critic and memoirist authored over 40 books under a pseudonym inspired by her great-grandmother Bell Blair Hooks.

After publishing her first book of poetry in 1978, hooks went onto write the acclaimed Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism, articulating undeniable truths of the lived experiences of women of color and marginalized groups. Before the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, hooks recognized the way that one’s race or socio-economic status inevitably affected their lives and impacted their freedom and existence in a world not built for or by them.

While the loss of an extraordinarily talented and gifted writer is insurmountable, hooks has surely left a legacy that has inspired many to continue her work.

Writer Min Jin Lee and former student of hooks eloquently says her teacher’s work “opened the door, the windows and raised the roof in my mind,” according to The New York Times.

See a statement from bell hooks’ family regarding her passing below.

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