bell hooks (1952-2021). Photo by Liza Matthews.
When great voices are suppressed we must stand up for them. The late bell hooks was one of the leading thinkers and moral voices of our time. Now, as a powerful woman of color, feminist, and penetrating critic of racial injustice in America, she is a target.
Deeply influenced by Buddhism, bell was a frequent contributor to Lion’s Roar magazine. I was honored to be her friend and often benefited from her amazing mind and big heart. Although she had many answers, she always remained a searcher.
From her conversations with Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chödrön, and Sharon Salzberg, to her seminal essay “Toward a Worldwide Culture of Love,” bell brought to our pages penetrating analysis, great writing, and an uncompromising advocacy of love as the force that will transform our lives and our society.
Now this voice for love and justice is one of the Black thinkers targeted in attacks on the straw man of “critical race theory.” Yet far from a threat, the writings of bell hooks are exactly what America needs — honest analysis of injustices past and present, and love and compassion as their answer.
So Lion’s Roar is proud to offer this selection of bell hooks’ writings from our pages, particularly to students in Florida and elsewhere for whom her truth is apparently dangerous. Because we must all celebrate a great voice like bell’s when it is silenced — and needed more than ever.
—Melvin McLeod, Editor-in-Chief, Lion’s Roar
bell hooks meets with Thich Nhat Hanh to ask him the question “How do we build a community of love?”
Eve Ensler and bell hooks discuss fighting domination and finding love.
Sharon Salzberg and bell hooks sat down with Lion’s Roar’s Melvin McLeod for a special discussion on how to bring more love into our lives.
A classic 1998 conversation between Maya Angelou and bell hooks, moderated by Lion’s Roar editor-in-chief Melvin McLeod.
Increasingly, patriarchy is offered as the solution to the crisis Black people face, writes bell hooks in this piece from 1999. Black women face a culture where practically everyone wants us to stay in our place. Here, hooks offers solutions to bring feminism out of the closet.
Following her death, Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Kamilah Majied, Lori Perine, and Zenzele Isoke reflect on bell hooks’ profound legacy.
bell hooks, one of America’s most influential feminists, says some writing she loves is written by patriarchal men. In this clip, she explains why she reads it anyway.