A voice for students at Brownell Talbot School


A voice for students at Brownell Talbot School



All About bell hooks

A biography about the impact of bell hooks.
One of bell hooks most popular books

“Feminism is for everyone” is the main point that bell hooks makes in her over thirty books. bell hooks, originally named Gloria Jean Watkins, is an author and professor about feminism, class, sexuality, and racism. bell hooks is a pen name she decided on inspired by her great-grandmother, her name is always in lowercase because bell hooks wants to steer the attention off of her and on what she’s discussing. bell hooks was born in Hopkinsville on September 25, 1952. hooks grew up in a household with predominantly women. She had six siblings, five of which were girls and one boy. hooks was raised by two poor working class parents, her father was Veodis Watkins and her mother was Rosa Bell. Many famous educators  like Sojourner Truth and Paulo Freire inspired bell hooks most popular books but her true supporter was her mom. Rosa Bell was a stay at home mom and always encouraged bell hooks work. At the young age of nineteen she started formatting one of her most known books “Ain’t I A Woman” based off of Sojourner Truths speech. This book is where the “bell hooks theory” really started.

While attending a variety of college, including Stanford, the University of California Santa Cruz, and the University of Wisconsin Madison, for english literature she gathered poems she had created then made her first publication in 1978 with them. She titled this chapter book of original poetry “And There We Wept”. She went on to continue writing while also being a professor at the University of Southern California, Yale, Santa Cruz, San Fransisco Sate University, City College of New York, and Oberlin College. Throughout all these colleges she taught Afro-American studies, women’s studies, and mostly english literature. hooks says that her goal as a teacher was to give her student academic freedom and the ability to challenge social structure. 

bell hooks continued teaching until she passed, even if it wasn’t in a traditional classroom. She wrote highly intelligent books like “All About Love” in 1999 and

Kevin Andre Elliott

“Feminism is for EVERYBODY” in 2000 which began to cause more publicity for other writing hooks had done. The bell hooks theory was initially introduced in “Ain’t I A Woman” but continued to be heavily mentioned in all aspects of bell hooks teachings. This theory states that all classifications such as sexuality, race, and gender are tied together and ignoring one causes underrepresentation for another. hooks discusses that even in certain progressive outlooks, there is still a patriarchal viewpoint. 

hooks never married anyone but was very upfront about her life not having any less value because of it. She found a content life Kentucky by herself. Eventually, she founded the bell hooks Institute at Berea College to have open discussions about gender, class, sexuality, racism, feminism, and how to turn our world into a matriarchy. bell hooks passed on December 15th 2021 due to kidney failure at the age of 69. Her books still make power changes in 2024. 



Must Reads

All About Love: New Visions (William Morrow, 2000)

Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life (Henry Holt & Co., 1997)

Soul Sister: Women, Friendship, and Fulfillment (South End Press, 2005)

Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom (Routledge, 2010)


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About the Contributor
Meelah Haase
Meelah Haase, Staff Writer
Meelah Haase is a freshman at Brownell Talbot College Preparatory School. It is her first year at Brownell Talbot. Meelah is excited to join Verbatim. Outside of academics, she is involved in volleyball and soccer. Meelah loves walking her two dogs, and being around family and friends. 

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