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Acclaimed author and activist bell hooks dies at 69

Beloved author, teacher and feminist bell hooks, known for her book “Ain’t I A Women,” died at the age of 69

SHARE Acclaimed author and activist bell hooks dies at 69

Author bell hooks is pictured in this 1999 television interview posted to YouTube in 2020.


bell hooks, who wrote a wide range of works on gender and race, pushing for the inclusion of Black and working-class women, died on Wednesday at the age of 69.

  • Her sister Gwenda Motley said that the cause of death was end-stage renal failure, according to The New York Times.

She wrote the influential book “Ain’t I A Woman? Black Women and Feminism” and always insisted her name be spelled out only using lowercase as a way of deemphasizing her individual identity.

  • “A devaluation of Black womanhood occurred as a result of the sexual exploitation of Black women during slavery that has not altered in the course of hundreds of years,” she wrote, per the report.

She taught at Stanford University, Yale University, Oberlin College in Ohio and the City College of New York before returning to teach at Berea College.

hooks argued that the feminist movement marginalized the experiences of Black and working women. According to NPR, her work addressed the intersections of race, gender, class and sexuality.

In a 2000 interview with an NPR show, she talked about the life-changing power of love and how it's beyond the romantic sentiment.

  • “I’m talking about a love that is transformative, that challenges us in both our private and our civic lives,” she said. “I’m so moved often when I think of the civil rights movement because I see it as a great movement for social justice that was rooted in love and that politicized the notion of love, that said: Real love will change you.”