Bell Hooks

Literary Birthday – 25 September – Bell Hooks

bell hooks was born 25 September 1952 and died 15 December 2021.


  1. Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.
  2. It is writing that truly rescues, that enables us to reach the shore, to recover.
  3. I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.
  4. Living simply makes loving simple.
  5. There is no life to be found in violence. Every act of violence brings us closer to death. Whether it’s the mundane violence we do to our bodies by overeating toxic food or drink or the extreme violence of child abuse, domestic warfare, life-threatening poverty, addiction, or state terrorism.
  6. But love is really more of an interactive process. It’s about what we do not just what we feel. It’s a verb, not a noun.
  7. We do not write because we must; we always have a choice. We write because language is the way we keep a hold on life. With words we experience our deepest understandings of what it means to be intimate. We communicate to connect, to know community.
  8. No black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much’. Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’…No woman has ever written enough.
  9. Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands.
  10. The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is – it’s to imagine what is possible.
  11. Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognise your power – not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist.
  12. What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe.

bell hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) was an American author, feminist, and social activist. She wrote her name in lower case as bell hooks. She wrote more than 30 books, including Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, All About Love: New Visions, and Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood.


Alex Lozupone (Tduk), CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 25th September 2015