(NEW YORK) — bell hooks, the groundbreaking author, educator and activist whose explorations of how race, gender, economics and politics were intertwined made her among the most influential thinkers of her time, has died. She was just 69.
In a statement issued through William Morrow Publishers, hooks’ family announced that she died Wednesday in Berea, Ky., home to the bell hooks center at Berea College. Further details weren’t immediately available.
“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. Linda Strong-Leek, a close friend and 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 hooks.”
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Hooks began publishing dozens books in the 1970s that shaped popular and academic discourse. Some of her most notable books include Ain’t I a Woman? Feminism and Black Women, Feminist Theory: Margin to Centre All About Love: A New Vision. Among her most famous expressions was her definition of feminism, which she called “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression.”
Gloria Jean Watkins gave birth to hooks and she adopted the name bell hooks as a tribute to her maternal great grandmother.