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Groundbreaking author, activist, feminist, bell hooks died peacefully at her Berea home surrounded by family and friends

Missy Story-Jackson (left) bell hooks (center) Dr. Kaila Adia Story-Jackson (right)
photo courtesy Dr. Kaila Adia Story
Missy Story-Jackson (left) bell hooks (center) Dr. Kaila Adia Story-Jackson (right)

Influential Kentucky author, feminist and activist bell hooks, died Wednesday morning at her home in Berea.

Gloria Jean Watkins was born in Hopkinsville Kentucky in 1952. She used the pen name bell hooks in honor of her great -grandmother, intentionally using lower case letters to focus on the substance of her writing rather than her personality.

As a ground breaking feminist, she was known for her work on race, class, and gender.

Dr. Kaila Adia Story, associate professor in women’s gender and sexuality studies at the University of Louisville calls hooks death a huge and devasting loss.

“ Not only to her family ,friends and loved ones, but also to all of the scholars and activists who used her work, as a point of recovery, as a point of resistance, just as a point of empowerment ,”said Story.

The award-winning author published more than 30 book including , ”Ain’t I a Woman”, “Bone Black” and “All About Love.”

Her niece Ebony Motley said her aunt was a role model.

“My aunt was unapologetically herself. That’s what I admired most about her. She was different. She went against the grain and she was unapologetic because she knew who she was,” said Motley.

Hooks taught at institutions like Yale University and Oberlin College. In 2004 she joined the faculty at Berea College where she established the bell hooks institute.

Niece Ebony Motley says bell hooks died peacefully surrounded by family and friends . She was 69.

Cheri is a broadcast producer, anchor, reporter, announcer and talk show host with over 25 years of experience. For three years, she was the local host of Morning Edition on WMUB-FM at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Cheri produced and hosted local talk shows and news stories for the station for nine years. Prior to that, she produced and co-hosted a local talk show on WVXU, Cincinnati for nearly 15 years. Cheri has won numerous awards from the Public Radio News Directors Association, the Ohio and Kentucky Associated Press, and both the Cincinnati and Ohio chapters of the Society for Professional Journalists.
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