These bell hooks Quotes Capture Her Profound Legacy

Her work has influenced a legion of feminist scholars and writers.

These bell hooks quotes reflect on intersectional feminism, power, and love.
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On Dec. 15, the family of bell hooks announced that the feminist critic, writer, and professor died in her home at age 69 after an “extended illness.” She is remembered as a teacher and as one of the most influential thinkers on the subjects of race, gender, and sexuality — as well as the author of more than 30 books.

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And while her work extolled the merits of a simple, humble existence, her legacy does anything but. The Kentucky native, who was raised as Gloria Jean Watkins, educated a legion of feminist thinkers and writers, like Roxane Gay, Min Jin Lee, and Tressie McMillan Cottom.

But the best way to remember hooks is through her words. Read on for some of her most mulled-over quotes.

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“If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.”

feminism is for everybody: passionate politics

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“One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. There was a time when I felt lousy about my over-forty body, saw myself as too fat, too this, or too that. Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am. It is silly, isn’t it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself.”

— all about love: new visions

"The process begins with the individual woman’s acceptance that American women, without exception, are socialized to be racist, classist and sexist, in varying degrees, and that labeling ourselves feminists does not change the fact that we must consciously work to rid ourselves of the legacy of negative socialization."

ain't i a woman: black women and feminism

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“I want there to be a place in the world where people can engage in one another’s differences in a way that is redemptive, full of hope and possibility. Not this ‘In order to love you, I must make you something else.’ That’s what domination is all about, that in order to be close to you, I must possess you, remake and recast you.”

— reel to real: race, sex, and class at the movies

“Individuals who fight for the eradication of sexism without struggles to end racism or classism undermine their own efforts. Individuals who fight for the eradication of racism or classism while supporting sexist oppression are helping to maintain the cultural basis of all forms of group oppression.”

feminist theory: from margin to center

“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.”

remembered rapture: the writer at work

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