bell hooks, the trailblazing author, feminist, educator, and activist, died today at the age of 69.
hooks, whose given name was Gloria Jean Watkins, based her pen name on great-grandmother Bell Blair Hooks. She chose to style her pen name in all lowercase letter in order to highlight her message, rather than herself. hooks was a major voice in the American (and international) feminism — she pioneered what is not known as intersectional feminism, and wrote about how gender intersects with race, class, and sexuality in books such as And There They Wept and Ain’t I A Woman? Black Women and Feminism. Her formulations are now a key part of the Fourth-Wave Feminist movement.
During her life, hooks authored more than forty books, including essays, poetry, and children’s books. As a cultural critic, she turned her eye to cinema in Reel to Real, wherein she discussed how films impact individuals, especially black female viewers. She also contributed to several documentaries, including My Feminism and BaadAsssss Cinema. You can find all of these titles on or about bell hooks in the AU Library’s Media collection.