KNOWN for her feminist theory, Bell Hooks real name is Gloria Jean Watkins.
On Wednesday, December 15, 2021, the beloved author passed away.
Who was author Bell Hooks?
Bell Hooks published her first book of poems And There We Wept under her pen name back in 1978.
Over the course of her career, she wrote 40 books that have now been published in 15 different languages.
Born on September 25, 1952, Hooks is a Kentucky native who often gave back to her community.
In 2014, Hooks founded the Bell Hooks Center at Berea College in her home state.
According to their website, the Bell Hooks Center "is an inclusive space" meant to provide resources for "historically underrepresented students."
The center curates programs, collaborations, and events to help affirm sense of self and belonging.
"Our work is motivated by bell hooks' famous insights that 'patriarchy has no gender' and that, therefore, 'feminism is for everybody,'" the website states.
Hooks attended multiple colleges, earning a Bachelor's degree in English from Stanford University, before obtaining her Master's in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976.
She went on to earn a Doctorate in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Her career began as an English professor and senior lecturer in Ethnic Studies at the University of Southern California.
From there, she released her first book of poems.
Hooks' first major work, Ain't I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism, was written when she was an undergrad and released years later in 1981.
The book cemented herself as a feminist theorist, earning the author widespread recognition for her work.
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What was Bell Hooks' cause of death?
So far, no cause of death has been released. She was 69 years old at the time of her passing.
Bell Hooks' family announced her passing via Twitter, writing: "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," they continued.
"The family is honored that Gloria received numerous awards, honors, and international fame for her works as poet, author, feminist, professor, cultural critic, and social activist.
"We are proud to just call her sister, friend, confidant, and influencer," the statement concluded.
What is Bell Hooks' feminist theory?
Hooks' defines feminism as "a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression."
She was known for her emphasis on building a healthy community, often writing that loving communities have the ability to overcome race, class, and gender inequalities.
For Hooks, the ability to communicate and think critically are necessary steps in developing a healthy community.
When it came to feminism, Hooks argued that not all men in Western society are treated as equals, therefore women will struggle to have the same opportunities as men until changes are made.
She was an advocate for intersectionality, or the ability to consider gender's relation to race, class, and sex.
Hooks also gave insight on film representation, noting the Black woman is often shown in a light dimmer than that of the white woman.
"Representation is the 'hot' issue right now because it's a major realm of power for any system of domination," she said in her book, Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies.
"We keep coming back to the question of representation because identity is always about representation."
Was Bell Hooks married?
Bell Hooks never married and had no children.
In a 2017 interview with Abigail Bereola, Hooks commented on the aspect of love and the difficulties she believed came along with the concept.
"I think the true work of love is just so hard," she said at the time.
"It requires integrity, that there be a congruency between what we think, say, and do. I think romance has the total different feeling of 'it’s easy, it comes and goes,' so I think that people would rather settle for a counterfeit of love than to actually do the work of love."
She went on to say how difficult it is to truly know somebody, and how long it takes to fully let yourself go with another.
"I don’t have a partner. I’ve been celibate for 17 years," she continued.
"And I would love to have a partner, but I don’t think that my life is less meaningful."
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