bell hooks is (a Girl Power Academy) featured Feminist, Activist, Author recommendation

bell hooks (New School lecture series) photo
bell hooks (New School lecture series) photo

Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definition of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago. It was my hope at the time that it would become a common definition everyone would use. I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy. By naming sexism as the problem it went directly to the heart of the matter. Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult. It is also broad enough to include an understanding of systemic institutionalized sexism. As a definition it is open-ended. To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism.

bell-hooks-book-cover-1As all advocates of feminist politics know, most people do not understand sexism, or if they do, they think it is not a problem. Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.”  (~quotes from bell hooks, chapter 1 ‘FEMINIST POLITICS Where We Stand’ in Feminism is for Everybody)

To Read the complete chapter or read the book Feminism is for Everybody go to:  Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks PDF

bell-hooks-quote-with-photo-of-malcolmx

May 11, 2016

“The issue is really one of standpoint. From what political perspective do we dream, look, create, and take action? For those of us who dare to desire differently, who seek to look away from the conventional ways of seeing blackness and ourselves, the issue of race and representation is not just a question of critiquing the status quo. It is also about transforming the image, creating alternatives, asking ourselves questions about what types of images subvert, pose critical alternatives, transform our world views and move us away from dualistic thinking about good and bad. Making a space for the transgressive image, the outlaw rebel vision, is essential to any effort to create a context for transformation. And even then little progress is made if we transform images without shifting paradigms, changing perspectives, and ways of looking.” (~ from Black Looks: Race and Representation)

To read more of bell hooks blog check out the bell hooks Institute at: http://www.bellhooksinstitute.com

cinematographer Arthur Jafa and bell hooks New School lecture series photo
cinematographer Arthur Jafa and bell hooks New School lecture series photo

This is one of the best in the lecture series by bell hooks at the New School.  Cinematographer Arthur Jafa discusses Transgressions in Public Spaces, ‘who is looking’, and the common ground of racism and sexism with bell hooks as well as shares some of his stellar film work.

bell-hooks-quote

“Poetry is a useful place for lamentation…poems are a place where we can cry out.” ― bell hooks, Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place

“The Woman’s Mourning Song”

i cry
i cry high
this mourning song
my heart rises
sun in hand
to make the bread
i rise
my heavy work hand
needs
the voice of many singers
alone
the warmth of many ovens comfort
the warrior in me returns
to slay sorrow
to make the bread
to sing the mourning song
i cry high
i cry high
the mourning song
go away death
go from love’s house
go make your empty bed
by bell hooks

“sometimes falling rain
carries memories of betrayal
there in the woods
where she was not meant to be
too young she believes
in her right to be free
in her body
free from harm
believing nature
a wilderness she can enter
be solaced
believing the power
that there be sacred place
that there can be atonement now
she returns with no fear
facing the past
ready to risk
knowing these woods now
hold beauty and danger”
quote from bell hooks, Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place

bell-hooks-quote-not-bowing-down-2
Those who have influenced bell hooks include African-American abolitionist and feminist Sojourner Truth (whose speech Ain’t I a Woman? inspired her first major work), Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (whose perspectives on education she embraces in her theory of engaged pedagogy), Peruvian theologian and Dominican priest Gustavo Gutierrez, psychologist Erich Fromm, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, African-American writer James Baldwin, Guyanese historian Walter Rodney, African-American black nationalist leader Malcolm X, and African-American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr (who addresses how the strength of love unites communities). As bell hooks says of Martin Luther King’s notion of a beloved community, “he had a profound awareness that the people involved in oppressive institutions will not change from the logics and practices of domination without engagement with those who are striving for a better way.”

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