Acclaimed Author, bell hooks, Has Passed Away

by Shine My Crown Staff

Acclaimed author and social activist, bell hooks, has died.

She was 69.

The author and activist had been ill and was surrounded by friends and family when she passed, according to a press release from her niece, Ebony Motley.

“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. Black heart,” the statement reads.

bell hooks was born Gloria Jean Watkins was born on Sept. 25, 1952, in Hopkinsville, Ky., to Veodis and Rosa Bell Watkins. She was one of seven children.

She attended segregated schools in Christian County. She would go on to earn a master’s in English at the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate in literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

She decided to adopt her great-grandmother’s name as her pen name in lower case letters to emphasize the “substance of books, not who I am.”

In 1981, she published her first book, “Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism.” However, her first published work was a book of poems titled “And There We Wept,” which was released in 1978.

Throughout her career, bell hooks as many as 40 books, including essays, poetry, and children’s books touching on an array of topics, including feminism, racism, politics, gender roles and more. In 2018, she was inducted into the Kentucky Writers’ Hall of Fame

For hooks, love was a big part of her message.

“I think it’s more how much work are you willing to put into the acts of knowing and caring. It’s not really about how much time, but what are you willing to do,” she told Shondaland on what it takes to cultivate love. “I think, because people are so busy and so caught up in things, it’s really hard for people to think about, “OK, I just met this person that I’m really attracted to, but it may take me a year to get a sense of who that person really is.”

It is an understatement to say that bell hooks’ literary works have been influential to Black women writers and writers of color.

May she rest in power.

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