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Pioneering Black feminist, author and social critic bell hooks has died at the age of 69. Born Gloria Jean Watkins, she wrote more than 40 books and became a leading voice on feminism, justice, race and discrimination. Her 1981 book “Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism,” which took its title from a speech by abolitionist Sojourner Truth, helped popularize the notion of intersectional feminism. In 1997, Democracy Now! spoke with bell hooks following the death of another trailblazer: education activist Paulo Freire.
bell hooks: “In our culture, so often, people teach beliefs, values, ideas, that have no relationship to how they live their lives. And each of the many times that I saw Paulo, I saw him exemplify again and again a unity between theory and praxis. And that has inspired me both as an intellectual and as a teacher to want to have that kind of unity, to believe and to know that it’s not a dream or a fantasy, but that you can teach by being in the world as much as you can by the books you write.”
bell hooks was also a longtime educator and was a distinguished professor at Berea College in her home state of Kentucky at the time of her passing. In 2000, she published the book “All About Love: New Visions.” bell hooks wrote, “It is essential to our struggle for self-determination that we speak of love. For love is the necessary foundation enabling us to survive the wars, the hardships, the sickness, and the dying with our spirits intact. It is love that allows us to survive whole.”
Tune in to Democracy Now! on Friday as we cover bell hooks’s life and work in depth and hear from her in her own words. You can also go to democracynow.org to see that full conversation we had with her.
This content was originally published here.