bell hooks

(b. 1952)

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The pen-name of African-American feminist and social activist Gloria Watkins. The pen-name combines the names of her mother and grandmother and is written in lower case to signify that it is the content of her books rather than the name on the spine that is important. Since the publication in 1981 of Ain't I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism, hooks has been highly critical of both Second Wave feminism for its neglect of race, and race studies for its neglect of gender. Thus she writes against sexism within feminism and against racism within black liberation movements. She has also written extensively on the mutually reinforcing ways in which race and gender are used to subordinate women in the public sphere, particularly media and politics. Like Henry Louis Gates, she also has an abiding concern for the preservation and popularization of African-American culture. She is a vanguard author in Third Wave feminism.

Subjects: Literature.

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