“What is justice? The heart of it is really longing for people to be able to grow and develop freely in a positive and constructive way. So what are the conditions that allow for that?
Love comes in and says, ‘There isn’t any difference that can’t be understood. There isn’t any conflict that can’t be reconciled.’ So that love becomes a major, major threat to the formation of any kind of culture of dominator thinking and dominator society.”
bell hooks is an American author, feminist, teacher, thinker, cultural critic and social activist. Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1952 and an avid reader in her childhood, she grew to become a passionate scholar and one of her generations’s leading public intellectuals. Although hooks is often thought of as a feminist thinker, her writings cover a wide range of topics such as gender, race, class, oppression, capitalism, healing, teaching, self-help and media culture. She strongly believes in the interconnectedness of such themes and in the need to consider them as part of a larger, related whole rather than separately.
Through her radical critical consciousness and postmodern perspective, she links views on racism, sexism, history, education and media roles in social representation. She examines systems of domination, particularly racism and patriarchy, and how they may be overcome. She calls for a restructuring of the cultural framework of power, one that fosters no oppression. She sees education as the practice of freedom, and teaching as a catalyst to engage critical thinking, transgression and change.
bell hooks has published over thirty books and various academic and mainstream articles, appeared in documentary films and participated in multiple lectures. Popular titles include Ain’t I a Woman; Bone Black; All About Love; Talking Back; Ending Racism; Where We Stand; Teaching to Transgress; Men, Masculinity, and Love; Outlaw Culture; and Belonging. Her latest book is titled Writing Beyond Race.
hooks received her B.A. from Stanford University, her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and her PhD. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She taught at several post-secondary institutions, at Oberlin College in Ohio , at Yale and at the University of Southern California. She has been appointed Distinguished Lecturer of English Literature at the City College of New York and is a Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College.
Watkin’s pseudonym, intentionally uncapitalized, was adopted to honor her mother and grandmother (“known for her snappy and bold tongue”) as well as to establish a voice for her writings that would be focused on content and distinct from her person.
A prevalent theme in some of her recent works, including books for children, is that of community and communion, and the ability to overcome race, class, and gender inequalities through love, communication, literacy and critical thinking.
bell hooks quotes:
“Ingredients of Love”, an interview with bell hooks (Ascent magazine)
“Visionary bell hooks”, a video tribute inspired by five books by hooks (4 min)