By Jenna Renaud
“The transformative power of love is the foundation of all meaningful social change. Without love our lives are without meaning. Love is the heart of the matter. When all else has fallen away, love sustains.” -bell hooks, Salvation: Black People and Love, 2001
bell hooks died from end-stage renal failure at her home in Berea, Ky., on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. She was 69. hooks’ writings had an enormous impact thinking and scholarship about race and feminism, specifically amplifying Black and marginalized voices, changing what feminism meant both in the US and internationally.
Born Gloria Jean Watkins, hooks penned the majority of her works under the name bell hooks both in tribute to her grandmother and to bring emphasis to her words, rather than herself. To hear her speak, view this video of her at the Othering & Belonging Conference in 2015 or this clip of her on the show Speaking Freely. Her works are assigned regularly in classes across many disciplines at Villanova. hooks’ legacy lives on in the people she influenced and thrives both on campus and in Falvey’s collection.
bell hooks was a giant, and her loss will be felt in big and small ways by all that were touched by her work and all who have yet to discover it. To quote one of the innumerable posts of grief, gratitude, and love that flooded social media in the wake of her passing: “If you’re just learning of bell hooks, there’s no shame. You can always read her words and meet her on the page.”
Check out bell hooks’ books at Falvey by clicking on any of the links below:
- Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (1984)
- Ain’t I a Women: Black Women and Feminism (1981)
- Belonging: A Culture of Place (1990)
- Where We Stand: Class Matters (2000)
- Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (1994)
- All About Love: New Visions (1999)
- Killing Rage: Ending Racism (1995)
To view Falvey’s full collection of bell hooks books, click here.
Explore additional resources:
- A statement from bell hook’s family regarding her passing (Twitter)
- In Praise of bell hooks (New York Times)
- How bell hooks Paved the Way for Intersectional Feminism (them.)
- The bell hooks Institute (Berea College)
- bell hooks on her latest book All About Love—New Visions (NPR)
- Trailblazing feminist author, critic and activist bell hooks has died at 69 (NPR)
- bell hooks remembered: ‘She embodied everything I wanted to be’ (Guardian)
Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.