Bell Hooks, Black feminist author, activist and professor, and Buddhist practitioner, has died at the age of 69. I want to especially honor her passing today because she was a huge influence on my life, long before I began practicing Buddhism. Her book, Feminist Theory: from Margin to Center (1984) was one of the first and most influential books on feminism that I read in the early 80s. Other feminist works by Radical Women of Color at that time were also influential, especially This Bridge Called My Back (1981) by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa. Bell Hooks was a woman of passion and integrity who called it like she saw it, even if no-one backed her up. She was fiercely anti-racist and feminist yet also fiercely loving, as her several books on love attest.
A couple years ago I wrote a song, ‘You Are Not My Man’, as a tribute to her writing and her vision. You may not much care for the music or the lyrics, but please appreciate the song was written with bell hooks in mind.
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