We are in the continuation of a cultural shift towards equality, both in terms of race and gender. Bell hooks is an innovative feminist thinker, who emphasizes the importance of examining oppression as it is connected to all of a person’s social identities–a concept called intersectionality.
Hooks was born as Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. She began her education in a racially segregated school, and then was moved to an integrated school, which had a substantial impact on her views of education and its function. For her undergraduate studies, she attended Stanford University, acquired her master’s from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and earned her Ph.D from the University of California, Santa Cruz. From there, Hooks became a prominent professor and lecturer at several schools in the United States.
As a professor and published author, Hooks emphasizes the importance of education in forming critical thinking skills and literacy in people, as well as a way for people to enhance the wellbeing of their own lives as well as the lives of others. She also has paved the way in the feminist movement for African American women, believing that the movement needed to become more inclusive for it to be effective.
As a scholar, teacher, and writer, Bell Hooks is an innovator. Her work exemplifies the need for all people to express their ideas and passions through writing, and reminds us all that “feminism is for everybody.”