Thursday, June 18, 2009

Herstory: bell hooks

(originally posted 05/08 at wordpress)


by mae stephenson

bell hooks
Born Gloria Jean Watkins on September 25, 1952 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. bell hooks uses lowercase letters for her name to shift focus from the author to the ideas within her writing.

bell hooks is arguably one of the most important authors of our time. A self-described "Black woman intellectual, revolutionary activist," "cultural critic," and "advocate of feminism," hooks has authored over thirty books and dozens of articles focusing on the interconnectedness of race, class, and gender oppression and domination. She coined the phrase "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" to describe these intersections. She also writes with an important and somewhat unique emphasis on self-love. In her dedication to ending class oppression she uses a writing style accessible for people outside of Academia and makes appearances on television and radio programs. Some of her titles include Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, Where We Stand: Class Matters, Teaching to Transgress: Education As the Practice of Freedom, and The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love.
In addition, she's written a handful of children's books including Be Boy Buzz and Happy to be Nappy after having a difficult time finding children's books that didn't enforce patriarchal notions of boyhood and books that taught young black girls to be self-loving, respectively.

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