Women’s History Month Spotlight: bell hooks

An influential contributor to working class feminist theory.

Isabella Beaupré

Feature Writer at RYSE
Isabella Beaupré is a Milwaukee-based writer and artist working to organize against oppression and fight for race, gender and class justice.

bell hooks is an extremely influential American author, feminist and social activist. Her iconic pen name is derived from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks, a womxn* well-known for speaking the truth. hooks’ writing focuses on the intersectionality of race, capitalism and gender. One of her main discussion lines centers on what she describes as the inevitability of these factors to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination. She has published over 30 books and many scholarly articles, appeared in documentary films, and participated in public lectures.

With a postmodern perspective, she has addressed race, class, and gender through education, art, history, sexuality, mass media, and feminism. More specifically, her themes involve the historical impact of sexism and racism on black womxn, devaluation of black womxnhood, media roles and portrayal, the education system, the idea of a white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy, the marginalization of black womxn, and the disregard for issues of race and class within feminism.  

In 2014, she founded the bell hooks Institute at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. hooks continues to influence activists and change-seekers through her lectures and published works. She remains a powerful force for the advocacy of black womxn.  
* As a literary form of personal resistance to the patriarchal system, womxn is spelled with a non-traditional ‘X’ in place of an ‘A’ or ‘E’. This decision is conscious and informed by moral obligation. It is not an error.      

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1 Comment
  1. […] grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Noted author and feminist activist bell hooks puts it more simply in her book Feminism is for Everybody, “Simply put, feminism is a movement […]

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