Pioneering US Black feminist author bell hooks dies at 69

Gloria Jean Watkins, a pioneering Black feminist intellectual who wrote more than 40 books and is better known by her pen name, bell hooks, has died.

bell who was known for her trailblasing works on the intersection of gender, race, and class, died at home in Berea, Kentucky on Wednesday, surrounded by family and friends, her family said in a statement.

Her books, translated into more than one dozen languages, include: Ain’t I a Woman?: Black, Women and Feminism; Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center; All About Love: New Visions; We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity, and Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom.

Her family is “deeply saddened at the passing of our beloved sister on December 15, 2021,” a statement posted by her niece Ebony Motley read.

“The family is honored that Gloria received numerous awards, honors and international fame for her work as a poet, author, professor, cultural critic and social activist,” her family said in the statement. “We are proud to just call her a sister, friend, confidant and influencer.”

Awarded numerous accolades throughout her career, hooks earned a PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1983, after a BA from Stanford, and was inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame in 2018.

A celebrated Black thinker, her works became required reading on many a university course, gaining new readership amid the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice.