bell hooks Quotes
Gloria Jean Watkins (September 25, 1952 – December 15, 2021), better known by her pen name bell hooks, was an American author, professor, feminist, and social activist. The name “bell hooks” is borrowed from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks.
The focus of hooks’s writing was 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 more than 30 books and numerous scholarly articles, appeared in documentary films, and participated in public lectures. She addressed race, class, gender, art, history, sexuality, mass media, and feminism. In 2014, she founded the bell hooks Institute at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky.
Her pen name is purposely written in lower case as she wanted the focus to be on her ideas and not her identity.
bell hooks Quotes
“If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice.”
Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.
“To live fixated on the future is to engage in psychological denial.”
“The rage of the oppressed is never the same as the rage of the privileged.”
“True resistance begins with people confronting pain…and wanting to do something to change it.”
“Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust.”
“The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression.”
“Love is profoundly political. Our deepest revolution will come when we understand this truth.”
“True love is a different story. When it happens, individuals usually feel in touch with each other’s core identity.”
“When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever bonds rather than to maintain commitment.”
“Because we have learned to believe negativity is more realistic, it appears more real than any positive voice.”
You can only realize change if you live simply. Once people want enormous excess, you can hardly do social change.
“I really like to stay in my nest and not move. I travel in my mind, and that’s a rigorous state of journeying for me.”
“One of the most vital ways we sustain ourselves is by building communities of resistance, places where we know we are not alone.”
“To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality.”
“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.”
“Hope is essential to any political struggle for radical change when the overall social climate promotes disillusionment and despair.”
“Since loving is about knowing, we have more meaningful love relationships when we know each other and it takes time to know each other.”
“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.”
“I think the truth is that finding ourselves brings more excitement and well-being than anything romance has to offer, and somewhere we know that.”
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.
“The word “love” is most often defined as a noun, yet all the more astute theorists of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we used it as a verb.”
“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.”
“Shaming is one of the deepest tools of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy because shame produces trauma and trauma often produces paralysis.”
“Of all the definitions of love that abound in our universe, a special favorite of mine is…“the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.”
“Women will only be truly sexually liberated when we arrive at a place where we can see ourselves as having sexual value and agency irrespective of whether of not we are the objects of male desire.”
There is no life to be found in violence. Every act of violence brings us closer to death. Whether it’s the mundane violence we do to our bodies by overeating toxic food or drink or the extreme violence of child abuse, domestic warfare, life-threatening poverty, addiction, or state terrorism.
“The white worker who has been displaced at General Motors has more in common with the displaced black worker than those larger white CEO’s, and those Wall Street people who are determining their fate…whose thievery and greed is determining their fate.”
“Individuals who want to believe that there is no fulfillment in love, that true love does not exist, cling to these assumptions because this despair is actually easier to face than the reality that love is a real fact of life but is absent from their lives.”
“To know love we have to invest time and commitment…’dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love — which is to transform us.’”
“Usually adult males who are unable to make emotional connections with the women they choose to be intimate with are frozen in time, unable to allow themselves to love for fear that the loved one will abandon them.”
“Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am. It is silly, isn’t it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself.”
“Since the notion that we should all forsake attachment to race and/or cultural identity and be “just humans” within the framework of white supremacy has usually meant that subordinate groups must surrender their identities, beliefs, values, and assimilate by adopting the values and beliefs of privileged-class whites, rather than promoting racial harmony this thinking has created a fierce cultural protectionism.”
“To me feminism is not simply a struggle to end male chauvinism or a movement to ensure that women will have equal rights with men; it is a commitment to eradicating the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels–sex, race, and class, to name a few–and a commitment to reorganizing U.S. society so that the self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion, and material desires.”