Gloria Jean Watkins, known as bell hooks (lowercased intentionally), born September 25, 1952, was a famous American scholar and activist, exploring race, gender and class intersections.
Born and raised in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, she started writing at 19, publishing her influential book, “Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism” in 1981.
Educated at Stanford, Wisconsin and UC Santa Cruz, she later taught at various prestigious institutions.
Adopting her pseudonym to honor her great-grandmother and emphasize her message over identity, hooks wrote extensively, celebrating Black womanhood and examining societal issues.
She passed away on December 15, 2021.
Below are the best quotes by Bell Hooks.
Best Bell Hooks Quotes
All awakening to love is spiritual awakening. ~ Bell Hooks.
The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is-it’s to imagine what is possible. ~ Bell Hooks.
A good teacher is someone who can help you to get back to a teacher within. ~ Bell Hooks.
If I do not speak in a language that can be understood there is little chance for a dialogue. ~ Bell Hooks.
The rage of the oppressed is never the same as the rage of the privileged. ~ Bell Hooks.
Once you do away with the idea of people as fixed, static entities, then you see that people can change, and there is hope. ~ Bell Hooks.
The most basic activism we can have in our lives is to live consciously in a nation living in fantasies. Living consciously is living with a core of healthy self-esteem. You will face reality, you will not delude yourself. ~ Bell Hooks.
The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy. ~ Bell Hooks.
Stereotypes abound when there is distance. They are an invention, a pretense that one knows when the steps that would make real knowing possible cannot be taken or are not allowed. ~ Bell Hooks.
Sexism has always been a political stance mediating social domination, enabling white men and black men to share a common sensibility about sex roles and the importance of male domination. ~ Bell Hooks.
In a culture of domination, preoccupation with victimage is inevitable. ~ Bell Hooks.
Popular Bell Hooks Quotes
Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books. ~ Bell Hooks.
Shaming is one of the deepest tools of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy because shame produces trauma and trauma often produces paralysis. ~ Bell Hooks.
Only grown-ups think that the things children say come out of nowhere. We know they come from the deepest parts of ourselves. ~ Bell Hooks.
Whenever domination is present, love is lacking. ~ Bell Hooks.
The world would be a paradise of peace and justice if global citizens shared a common definition of love which would guide our thoughts and action. ~ Bell Hooks.
The world demands that you work for it, make families, provide, take no time to listen to your own heart beating. ~ Bell Hooks.
Without justice there can be no love. ~ Bell Hooks.
To be loving is to be open to grief, to be touched by sorrow, even sorrow that is unending. ~ Bell Hooks.
The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created. ~ Bell Hooks.
Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. ~ Bell Hooks.
When we work with love we renew the spirit; that renewal is an act of self-love, it nurtures our growth. ~ Bell Hooks.
Class is rarely talked about in the United States; nowhere is there a more intense silence about the reality of class differences than in educational settings. ~ Bell Hooks.
Top Bell Hooks Quotes
Power feminism is just another scam in which women get to play patriarchs and pretend that the power we seek and gain liberates us. ~ Bell Hooks.
The soul of our politics is the commitment to ending domination. ~ Bell Hooks.
To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination. ~ Bell Hooks.
Honesty and openness is always the foundation of insightful dialogue. ~ Bell Hooks.
People with healthy self-esteem do not need to create pretend identities. ~ Bell Hooks.
Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world. ~ Bell Hooks.
Feminist politics aims to end domination, to free us to be who we are – to live lives where we love justice, where we can live in peace. Feminism is for everybody. ~ Bell Hooks.
When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever bonds rather than to maintain commitment. ~ Bell Hooks.
Only love can heal the wounds of the past. However, the intensity of our woundedness often leads to a closing of the heart, making it impossible for us to give or receive the love that is given to us. ~ Bell Hooks.
Famous Bell Hooks Quotes
The practice of love offers no place of safety. We risk loss, hurt, pain. We risk being acted upon by forces outside our control. ~ Bell Hooks.
You must have courage to love, you have to have a profound will to do what is right to love, and it does not come easy. ~ Bell Hooks.
The wounded heart learns self-love by first overcoming low self-esteem. ~ Bell Hooks.
The challenge these days is to be somewhere, to belong to some particular place, invest oneself in it, draw strength and courage from it, to dwell in a community. ~ Bell Hooks.
Patriarchy has no gender. ~ Bell Hooks.
There is light in darkness, you just have to find it. ~ Bell Hooks.
What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe. ~ Bell Hooks.
When we drop fear, we can draw nearer to people, we can draw nearer to the earth, we can draw nearer to all the heavenly creatures that surround us. ~ Bell Hooks.
It’s in the act of having to do things that you don’t want to that you learn something about moving past the self. Past the ego. ~ Bell Hooks.
The practice of love is the most powerful antidote to the politics of domination. ~ Bell Hooks.
Whether we’re talking about race or gender or class, popular culture is where the pedagogy is, it’s where the learning is. ~ Bell Hooks.
Language is also a place of struggle. ~ Bell Hooks.
Ultimate Bell Hooks Quotes
When we choose to love, we choose to move against fear, against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect, to find ourselves in the other. ~ Bell Hooks.
Hope is essential to any political struggle for radical change when the overall social climate promotes disillusionment and despair. ~ Bell Hooks.
Commitment to truth telling lays the groundwork for the openness and honesty that is the heartbeat of love. ~ Bell Hooks.
Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape. ~ Bell Hooks.
Being oppressed means the absence of choices. ~ Bell Hooks.
Young people are cynical about love. Ultimately, cynicism is the great mask of the disappointed and betrayed heart. ~ Bell Hooks.
Knowing love or the hope of knowing love is the anchor that keeps us from falling into that sea of despair. ~ Bell Hooks.
All our silences in the face of racist assault are acts of complicity. ~ Bell Hooks.
As long as women are using class or race power to dominate other women, feminist sisterhood cannot be fully realized. ~ Bell Hooks.
Great Bell Hooks Quotes
Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust. ~ Bell Hooks.
Living simply makes loving simple. ~ Bell Hooks.
To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality. ~ Bell Hooks.
To love well is the task in all meaningful relationships, not just romantic bonds. ~ Bell Hooks.
I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance. ~ Bell Hooks.
We have to constantly critique imperialist white supremacist patriarchal culture because it is normalized by mass media and rendered unproblematic. ~ Bell Hooks.
Our freedom is sweet. It will be sweeter when we are all free. ~ Bell Hooks.
If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice, have recognition for difference without attaching difference to privilege. ~ Bell Hooks.
Spirituality and spiritual life give us the strength to love. ~ Bell Hooks.
Shame produces trauma. Trauma produces paralysis. ~ Bell Hooks.
I celebrate teaching that enables transgressions – a movement against and beyond boundaries. It is that movement which makes education the practice of freedom. ~ Bell Hooks.
When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. ~ Bell Hooks.
Wise Bell Hooks Quotes
Love is first and foremost exemplified by action – by practice – not solely by feeling. ~ Bell Hooks.
I think stress is anything going on in our lives that impinges on our capacity to have optimum well being. ~ Bell Hooks.
Isolation and loneliness are central causes of depression and despair. ~ Bell Hooks.
My focus has always been on the work – that work being critical thinking and writing. I am always doing that. That’s where I am, wherever I am. Critical thinking and writing as my heartbeat. ~ Bell Hooks.
The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom… ~ Bell Hooks.
I told my parents when I was 12 I’d be a writer. ~ Bell Hooks.
Since loving is about knowing, we have more meaningful love relationships when we know each other and it takes time to know each other. ~ Bell Hooks.
Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself. ~ Bell Hooks.
But love is really more of an interactive process. It’s about what we do not just what we feel. It’s a verb, not a noun. ~ Bell Hooks.
Love is an action, never simply a feeling. ~ Bell Hooks.
Representation is a crucial location of struggle for any exploited and oppressed people asserting subjectivity and decolonization of the mind. ~ Bell Hooks.
To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin. ~ Bell Hooks.
Love does have the power to redeem but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved. ~ Bell Hooks.
To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients – care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication. ~ Bell Hooks.
So these were the 78 top Bell Hooks quotes about love, feminism and education.