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Mar 19, 2019

Uplifting bell hooks

As we continue our spotlights of feminist icons for Women’s History Month, bell hooks is a natural and necessary visionary to include on this list. A leading scholar of the feminist movement and intersectional critical thought, bell hooks has elevated conversations about power and oppression in ways unparalleled by many of her contemporaries.

One of the most successful “cross-over” academics of the late twentieth century, bell hooks is well-known for arguing that second wave mainstream feminism erased the intersecting complexities of race, ethnicity and class. She was among a group of thought leaders who evolved the feminist movement into one that embraced intersectionality and operated within a framework that considered the nuances of human experience.

bell hooks is also known for being compassionately critical of the goals of mainstream feminism and pushing the movement forward. She has publicly spoken out about the desire to elect a female president, for example, and stated that the result should rather be “about having a person of any gender who understands deeply and fully the need for there to be respect for the embodied presence of males and females, without subordination.”

She’s published over 30 books during her lifetime, including the massively influential Feminism Is For Everybody and The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity and Love. Her first book Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women & Feminism, which she began writing at 19, was published in 1981 and continues to be taught in academic circles today.

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance.” --bell hooks

Academic theory and critical thought are equally as crucial to our movement as physical protest. Equality NC wouldn’t be able to effectively serve our communities without the work of scholars like bell hooks. We honor her intersectional perspective through our own commitment to all marginalized folks living in North Carolina.

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