This Day In History: September 25th
The intersection where capitalism, race and gender collide proved to be the perfect place for the renowned author, Bell Hooks. She is an author, social activist, feminist and professor who has inspired generations of people with her published works.
Here are five things to know about Bell Hooks!
- Early Life. Famed author, Bell Hooks, was born Gloria Jean Watkins on September 25, 1952, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. She was one of six children raised in a working-class family in a segregated community. As a child, she showed poetic promise by performing her poetry at local churches in her neighborhood.
- Excellence In Academia. In addition to being an acclaimed writer, Bell Hooks is also a scholar in her own right. After attending segregated public schools in Kentucky, she decided to further her education. She attended Stanford University on scholarship and earned her Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She took her academic journey a step further by obtaining her Ph.D. at the University of California-Santa Cruz. She completed her dissertation on the work of novelist Toni Morrison.
- Becoming “Bell Hooks.” Despite being popularly known as Bell Hooks, she was born Gloria Jean Watkins but adopted the moniker to honor her grandmother. She took after her grandmother who had a reputation for being opinionated. Although the name was catchy, she was intentional in her decision to lowercase the spelling of her name when publishing her books. This was done to highlight her writing rather than herself.
- The Source Of Inspiration. Bell Hooks drew on a variety of sources to fuel her inspiration for the works she has published. She received inspiration for her name from her grandmother but her content was influenced by Black women such as Sojourner Truth. Hooks also looked to the Buddhist faith for creativity and valued the work of fellow writers like Paulo Freire.
- Authored More Than 30 Books. After entering the scene as a writer during the 1980s with her debut book, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (1981), Hooks continued writing and published more than 30 books. She seeks to enlighten her readers and offers her perspective on life as a Black feminist woman. Ten of her books including Feminist Theory (1984), Feminism Is for Everybody (2000) and The Will to Change (2004) were highly regarded by Oprah Daily as powerful books on race and feminism.
The content of her novels range from self-help and feminism to politics and capitalism which is very indicative of the talent she possesses. With decades of experience under her belt, it is no wonder why Bell Hooks remains a celebrated author in the literary canon.