Both an intellectual and a person who helped people pursue ‘right relations’ to others, bell hooks wrote more than 30 books on race, feminism and class.
Born Gloria Jean Watkins, bell took her pen name from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks. She made it lower case as she wanted the public to focus on her work, not her name.
In 1976 hooks became an English teacher and Ethnic Studies lecturer at University of Southern California. She later taught at Yale, Oberlin and the City College of New York. She joined the Berea College in Kentucky in 2003 and founded the bell hooks Institute there.
Ain’t I a Woman, published in 1981, is a radical work of political theory, giving historical evidence of the sexism and racism that Black female slaves endured and how it affects Black women today.
bell hooks: NY Times Obituary