Loyal Jones Appalachian Center

bell hooks

Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies

Mailing: CPO 2166, Berea, KY 40404

Contact Information: bell hooks daily receives many inquiries and invitations and is very selective in her responses and engagements.  You may write to bell hooks via the Center, but responses may be selective and delayed.  Write via the mailing address above or use the Center’s contact email in the left column.  bell hooks cannot be reached by telephone at Berea College.

At Berea College since 2004


  • B.A., Stanford University, 1973
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1976
  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1983

Papers and Publications

  • Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism (1981)
  • All About Love: New Visions (2000)
  • And There We Wept: Poems. (1978)
  • Art on My Mind: Visual Politics (1995)
  • Be Boy Buzz (2002)
  • Black Looks: Race and Representation (1992)
  • Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood (1996)
  • Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life (1991) (with Cornel West)
  • Communion: The Female Search for Love (2002)
  • Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (2000)
  • Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (1984)
  • Happy to be Nappy (1999)
  • Homemade Love (2002)
  • Justice: Childhood Love Lessons (2000)
  • Killing Rage: Ending Racism (1995)
  • Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations (1994)
  • Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies (1996)
  • Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work (1999)
  • Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-esteem (2003)
  • Salvation: Black People and Love (2001)
  • Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-recovery (1993)
  • Skin Again (2004)
  • Soul Sister: Women, Friendship, and Fulfillment (2005)
  • Space (2004)
  • Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black (1989)
  • Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope (2003)
  • Teaching to Transgress: Education As the Practice of Freedom (1994)
  • We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity (2004)
  • Where We Stand: Class Matters (2000)
  • The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love (2003)
  • Witness (2006)
  • Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life (1997)
  • Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics (1990)


bell hooks is Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College. Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, she has chosen the lower case pen name bell hooks, based on the names of her mother and grandmother, to emphasize the importance of the substance of her writing as opposed to who she is. She is the author of over thirty books, many of which have focused on issues of social class, race, and gender. Her latest book is titled Belonging: A Culture of Place.

In a special issue of Appalachian Heritage (Summer 2008) on African Americans in Appalachia, bell hooks writes of the values of wildness, of renegade living. She suggests that her own “radical critical consciousness” was learned at home in a Kentucky community of African Americans from the backwoods about the need for freedom and the responsibility that comes with freedom. She concludes:

Living by those values, living with integrity, I am able to return to my native place, to an Appalachia that is no longer silent about its diversity or about the broad sweep of its influence. While I do not claim an identity as Appalachian, I do claim a solidarity, a sense of belonging, that makes me one with the Appalachian past of my ancestors, black, Native American, white, all “people of one blood” who made homeplace in isolated landscapes where they could invent themselves, where they could savor a taste of freedom.


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