bell hooks author Gloria Jean Watkins biography, ethnicity, education

bell hooks author Gloria Jean Watkins biography, ethnicity, education

Gloria Jean Watkins (bell hooks) was an author, professor, feminist, and social activist from the United States. Her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks, inspired the name “bell hooks.” The intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender, as well as their propensity to establish and sustain systems of oppression and class dominance, was the subject of Hook’s writing. She authored over 30 books and several research articles, appeared in films, and gave public speeches. Come down to know more about Gloria Jean Watkins biography, ethnicity, education, religion, husband, and many more:

Why is Gloria Jean Watkins (bell hooks) famous for? 

 Gloria Jean Watkins biography
bell hooks author Gloria Jean Watkins Source: Instagram

The intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender, as well as their propensity to establish and maintain systems of oppression and class dominance, was the focus of Hooke’s literature. She authored over 30 books and several research articles, appeared in documentaries, and gave public speeches. Her work dealt with issues of race, class, gender, art, history, sexuality, mass media, and feminism. She established the Bell hooks Institute at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, in 2014.

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Gloria Jean Watkins biography; Ethnicity, Family life of Bell Hooks

Gloria Jean Watkins, the pen name of Gloria Jean Watkins, was born on September 25, 1952, in Hopkinsville, Ky., a small city in the state’s southwestern corner near the Tennessee border, to a working-class African-American family. Rosa Bell Watkins (née Oldham) and Veodis Watkins had six children, including Watkins.

Her father, Veodis Watkins, worked for the Postal Service, and her mother, Rosa Bell (Oldham) Watkins, was a housewife, according to Gloria Jean Watkins. Ms. Hooks is survived by three other sisters, Sarah Chambers, Valeria Watkins, and Angela Malone, as well as her brother, Kenneth.


Her early schooling was in segregated schools, but she transferred to white-majority schools once the state’s education system was integrated – an experience in navigating complex racial and gender hierarchies that she later drew on in her book, “Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood” (1996).

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She was an avid reader, scooping up books and staying up late reading. She aspired to be an architect and to leave small-town Kentucky behind.

“Gloria learned to read and write at an early age and even proclaimed she would be famous one day,” her sisters said in a statement released after her death. “Every night we would try to sleep, but the sounds of her writing or page turning caused us to yell down to Mom to make her turn the light off.”

Climb for the higher education

Ms. Hooks began her climb at Stanford University, where she earned a degree in English literature in 1974. While still a student, she began composing “Ain’t I a Woman,” a title inspired by the Black abolitionist Sojourner Truth’s speech.

In 1976, she earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, and in 1983, she earned a doctorate in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a dissertation on Toni Morrison.

What did she do for a living?

She returned to Kentucky in 2004 to take up a teaching job at Berea College after teaching at Yale, Oberlin, and the City College of New York. A decade later, the college established the Bell Hooks Institute to serve as a hub for her writing and teaching.

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By the 2010s, she was semi-retired and spent her days writing, meditating, and talking with her neighbors in Berea, an intellectually active town in the Appalachian foothills.

Which religion Bell Hooks followed?

Ms. hooks, who identified as a “Buddhist Christian” and frequently mentioned her acquaintance with Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, argued that love was the only way to defeat what she called the “imperialist white supremacy capitalist patriarchy.”

“I believe wholeheartedly that the only way out of domination is love,” she told the philosopher George Yancy in an interview for The New York Times in 2015, “and the only way into really being able to connect with others, and to know how to be, is to be participating in every aspect of your life as a sacrament of love.”

What did her family say about her?

“She was a giant, no nonsense person who lived by her own rules, and spoke her own truth in a time when Black people, and women especially, did not feel empowered to do that,” Dr. Strong-Leek, a former provost of Berea College, wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “It was a privilege to know her, and the world is a lesser place today because she is gone. There will never be another bell hook.”

Was Bell Hooks ever married? If married then who was her husband?

Gloria Jean Watkins died
Bell Hooks died at the age of 69 Source: Shondaland

In 2020, she was named one of Time’s 100 Women of the Year, and the magazine described her as a “unique rock star of a public intellectual.” In 1995, Utne Reader named her one of the “100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life.”

She once described her identity as “queer-pas-gay.” She was critical, however, of those who viewed racism and homophobia as the same.

“White people, gay and straight, could show greater understanding of the impact of racial oppression on people of color by not attempting to make these oppressions synonymous, but rather by showing the ways they are linked and yet differ,” she wrote in 1999’s Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black.

How Gloria Jean Watkins (bell hooks) died? What was the cause of her death?

Bell hooks, whose incisive, wide-ranging writing on gender and race helped extend feminism beyond its white, middle-class perspective to incorporate the voices of Black and working-class women, died on Wednesday at her Berea, Kentucky home. She was 69 years old.

Gwenda Motley, her sister, stated that the cause was end-stage renal failure.


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