“The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is - it’s to imagine what is possible.”
The writer, scholar and activist Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, has died aged 69. As Roxanne Gay observed, her loss is incalculable. May she rest in power.
As a Black Feminist and passionate educator, bell hooks inspired many of our most esteemed writers, and underpinned the thinking of some of our most beloved campaigners.
The author of over 50 books in her lifetime, much of hooks' writing remains out of reach or expensive to readers and feminists in Britain - we hope that, as there was a renaissance in Audre Lorde's writing after Silver Press published Your Silence Will Not Protect You, so it will be with hooks.
For now, here is what is available, and here are some of her words
"We cannot have a meaningful revolution without humor. Every time we see the left or any group trying to move forward politically in a radical way, when they’re humorless, they fail. Humor is essential to the integrative balance that we need to deal with diversity and difference and the building of community."
“There will be no mass-based feminist movement as long as feminist ideas are understood only by a well-educated few.” ― bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center
‘To experience solidarity, we must have a community of interest, shared beliefs and goals around which to unite’
And reflections by fellow writers: