bell hooks (1952- )
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Women of Vision
“When we commit to love in our daily life, habits
are shattered. We are necessarily working to end domination…Love
moves us to a new ground of being. This movement is what most people
Gloria Jean Watkins (whose pen name bell hooks is how most people
know her) was born on September 25, 1952 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
She grew up with five sisters and one brother. Her father was a custodian
and her mother, was a homemaker. Throughout her childhood, bell was
an avid reader.
Her early education took place in racially segregated public schools,
She then earned her B.A. in English from Stanford University, and
her M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In
1983, after several years of teaching and writing, she completed
her doctorate in the literature department from the University of
California, Santa Cruz with a dissertation on author Toni Morrison.
Bell hooks went to become one of the most widely read post-modern
feminist writers and speakers, authoring books like Ain’t I a
Woman: Black Women and Feminism, Killing Rage: Ending Racism, and Sisters
of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery. While bell hooks
is considered one of the nation’s most celebrated intellectuals,
as well as a leading voice in black and feminist studies, what makes
bell hooks even more inspiring is her spiritual aspirations. As a
long-time student of the Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Naht Hahn,
bell hooks speaks of the struggle to end all forms of violence and
domination with the passion of someone who is willing to plumb the
depths of her own mind and heart.