Bell Hooks – the beloved poet, author, feminist and professor – has passed away, Berea College, the university where she taught, announced on Wednesday. She was 69 years old.
“Berea College is deeply saddened by the death of Bell Hooks, Emeritus Professor in Residence of Appalachian Studies, a prodigious author, public intellectual and one of the nation’s foremost feminist scholars,” the college wrote.
Hooks died at her home after “prolonged illness,” according to Berea College.
Known for her writing on race, gender and sexuality, Hooks has published over 30 books in her lifetime, including “Ain’t I a Woman?” Black Women and Feminism ”and“ All About Love ”in 1999.
Throughout her life, Hooks’ dedication to accessible feminist theory has remained strong. In a 2015 interview with the New York Times, Hooks said his main intention was to “produce a theory that people could use.”
“I have this phrase I use, ‘working with the job’,” Hooks said. “So if someone walks up to me and they have one of those bell-hook books that’s abused and beaten, and every page is underlined, I know they’ve worked with the job. And that’s where it is for me.
Her work has largely influenced contemporary writers, many of whom shared their grievances on social media after the announcement.
“As a first generation student, Bell Hooks was the first writer I met through academia and was able to enthusiastically discuss working with friends and family * outside * of academia. ” wrote Saeed Jones, author of the award-winning memoir “How We Fight for Our Lives”. “My mom and I read bell hooks together. I will always cherish the way his work has built bridges.
“Oh! Sweetheart. Bell hooks. May she rest in power. Her loss is incalculable,” wrote Roxane Gay, author of “Bad Feminist”.
“My heart is broken. The words of bell hooks have helped to make me the writer that I am, taught me that there is no shame in centering love and tenderness, in approach him and kiss him fiercely “, wrote Bolu Babalola, author of “Love in color”. “She is an eternal force and blessing may she rest in perfect peace. “
Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Ky., Hooks takes its pen name from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks. She has won numerous awards during her career and has taught at several universities, most recently at Berea College in Berea, Ky.