In Memoriam: bell hooks

bell hooks, 1952-2021

bell hooks, largely regarded as the Mother of Black Feminism, died yesterday at the age of 69. We at The Exponent II feel it’s important to honor hooks and her contributions to feminism, academia, social justice, equality, culture, and the general world.

bell hooks was born Gloria Jean Watkins on September 25, 1952 in Hopkinsville, KY. Better known by her pen name, “bell hooks,” hooks is an author, professor, social activist, and feminist. Hooks’ academic career began in 1976 as an English professor at the University of Southern California. hooks is the author of many books including the critically acclaimed and the award winning Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, and many more. hooks identified as “queer-pas-gay.” hooks was a professor at Stanford University, Yale University, Oberlin College and City College of New York. In 2004, she joined Berea College as Distinguished Professor in Residence and established the “bell hooks center.” In 2018 she was inducted in the Kentucky’s Writers Hall of Fame.

For more about hooks’ legacy please check out these beautifully written articles and tweets:

bell hooks, Renowned Author and Feminist Scholar, Dead At 69 by Ashley Reese for Jezebel

bell hooks, Pathbreaking Black Feminist, Dies at 69 by Clay Risen for The New York Times

How bell hooks got me through a tumultuous year of my life by Alice Driver for CNN

The world is a lesser place today without her by Linda Blackford for Lexington Herald Leader

The revolutionary writing of bell hooks by Hua Hsu for The New Yorker

Reaching for bell hooks in the Darkness by Brittney Cooper for The Cut

@KimberlyNFoster and @CornelWest
@Kishahowell3 @theferocity @biancaxunise
@tressiemcphd @ClintSmithIII @drashleyfarmer

Rest in power, bell hooks


Risa has a Masters and Bachelors degree in Social Work. She is a Mental Health Therapist who has worked in child abuse prevention, adoption, domestic violence and sexual assault trauma recovery. She is a mother of 4 and in her spare time she is a voracious reader, snarker, and subversive cross-stitcher.

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4 Responses

  1. Katie Rich says:

    I was introduced to bell hooks’ writing in my history undergrad and read All About Love with friends this past summer. I’ll be thinking about her words for the rest of my life.

  2. Heather says:

    Thank you. Such a loss.

  3. Caroline says:

    I read bell hooks in my Feminist Ethics class. I so respected her work.

  4. Thank you for memorializing bell hooks here. Grateful for her legacy.

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