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01/20/99 Black feminist Bell Hooks during interview for her new book. Said the feminist writer who a

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Author, professor and profound feminist Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, died on Wednesday at the age of 69. Madame Noire reported that hooks’ cause of death was not immediately announced.

bell hooks became a literary giant for her compelling commentary surrounding the Black feminist cultural commentary. If you have never read any of her work, here is a list of some of bell hooks’ books you should read in honor of her thoughtful contributions.

She adopted the pen name bell hooks to pay homage to her great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks. “It’s primarily about an idea of distance,” she told Tricycle in 1992. “The name ‘bell hooks’ was a way for me to distance myself from the identity that I most cling to, which is Gloria Watkins, and to create this other-self.”

In hooks’ writing, she chose to examine the intersectionality of race, capitalism, gender, and how they contribute to oppression and class. The notable author has had more than 30 books and several articles published, helping to pave the way for a new generation of socially conscious authors who explore similar narratives.

MORE: Here’s Why bell hooks Used Lowercase Letters For Her Name

hooks’ first book, Ain’t I a Woman, is named after American abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth’s famous speech. It has been added many must-read lists, like Oprah’s popular book list, for readers hoping to gain a better understanding of sexism, racism and the impact of feminism on Black womanhood. Most hooks fans will also point you in the direction of All About Love, which was published in 2000. That book explores the aspects of love in modern society where hooks combined personal anecdotes as well as psychological and philosophical ideas to develop and strengthen her argument.

Many readers speak of how bell hooks changed their lives for the better. If today is the first time you are discovering hooks’ impressive collection, keep reading to find a list of her books that are recommended for you to begin with.

1. All About Love

2. Ain’t I A Woman

3. Killing Rage: Ending Racism

4. Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood

 5. The Will to Change

6. Communion

7. Where We Stand


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If You’re Just Discovering bell hooks, Here Are 7 Books She Wrote That Will Change Your Life  was originally published on