Trailblazing feminist author, critic and activist bell hooks has died at 69

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Trailblazing poet, professor, prolific author bell hooks passed away in her home last week, Via NPR

The author of more than three dozen wide-ranging books, hooks published her first title, the poetry collection And There We Wept, in 1978. Her influential book Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism followed in 1981. Three years later, her Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center explored and criticized the feminist movement’s propensity to center and privilege white women’s experiences.

Frequently, hooks’ work addressed the deep intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality and geographic place. She wrote about her native Appalachia and growing up there as a Black girl in the critical-essay collection Belonging: A Culture of Place and in the poetry collection Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place.

In a 2000 interview with All Things Considered, hooks spoke about the life-changing power of love — that is, the act of loving and how love is far broader than romantic sentiment. “I’m talking about a love that is transformative, that challenges us in both our private and our civic lives,” she said. “I’m so moved often when I think of the civil rights movement, because I see it as a great movement for social justice that was rooted in love and that politicized the notion of love, that said: Real love will change you.”

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