Gloria Jean Watkins (September 25, 1952 – December 15, 2021), better known by her pen name bell hooks, was an American author and social activist who was Distinguished Professor in Residence at Berea College. She is best known for her writings on race, feminism, and class. The focus of hooks's writing was to explore the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender, and what she described as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination. She published around 40 books, including works that ranged from essays and poetry to children's books. She published numerous scholarly articles, appeared in documentary films, and participated in public lectures. Her work addressed love, race, class, gender, art, history, sexuality, mass media, and feminism.She began her academic career in 1976 teaching English and ethnic studies at the University of Southern California. She later taught at several institutions including Stanford University, Yale University, and The City College of New York, before joining Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, in 2004, where she founded the bell hooks Institute in 2014. Her pen name was borrowed from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks.
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