Noted author and Berea College Professor, bell hooks was one of 35 people inducted into Kentucky’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame today.
The Kentucky Commission of Human Rights selects individuals for this distinction in recognition of their efforts to help improve the quality of life for Kentucky, the United States and beyond, in the areas of human and civil rights.
A native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, hooks was born Gloria Jean Watkins, but uses a lower case pen name based on the names of her mother and grandmother as a way to emphasize the substance of her writing instead of who she is.
Since 2004, she has been a distinguished professor in Appalachian Studies at Berea College, teaching Appalachian Studies and urging her students to think for themselves and to learn about other cultures, countries and living conditions. An acclaimed author, hooks often writes about racism, sexism and gender politics. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. She is perhaps one of Kentucky’s best known writers and is known to challenge the status quo.