Acclaimed author and activist bell hooks died on Wednesday. She was 69.
Hooks, whose real name is Gloria Jean Watkins, was born on Sept. 25, 1952, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Her first published work, a book of poems titled "And There We Wept," was released in 1978. She went on to publish her first book "Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism" in 1981.
Berea College in Kentucky, where hooks worked as a professor, said she died following an undisclosed illness.
"bell came into the life of many Bereans in 2004 to help the College get closer to its Great Commitments, particularly the Fifth Great Commitment focused on the kinship of all people and interracial education; the Sixth Great Commitment dedicated to gender equality; and the Eighth Great Commitment centered on service to Appalachia," the school wrote in a statement.
"In 2017, bell dedicated her papers to Berea College, ensuring that future generations of Bereans will know her work and the impact she had on the intersections of race, gender, place, class and sexuality."
Hooks wrote under the pen name bell hooks after her great-grandmother Bell Blair Hooks.
Her work includes some 40 books, many of which focused on topics of feminism and race. She was the winner of several awards including the Writer’s Award from the Lila-Wallace—Reader’s Digest Fund and was named one of our nation’s leading public intellectuals by The Atlantic Monthly, according to The Poetry Foundation.
She was also inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, Berea College said.
This is a developing story; check back for updates.
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