Berea Professor, bell hooks Inducted Into Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame

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.

For a complete list of 2014 inductees into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame visit (PDF).

Categories: News, People
Tags: bell hooks, Civil Rights, Human rights, Kentucky’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.