40 pages 1 hour read

bell hooks

Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1984

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Key Figures

bell hooks

Born Gloria Jean Watkins, bell hooks is the author of Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. hooks grew up in a segregated, small Kentucky town before studying in an integrated classroom at Stanford University. Her feminist theories are informed by her experiences living in marginalized towns, studying in different education systems, and facing discrimination from wealthy, white women in second-wave feminist circles. Her discussions surrounding class and race directly reflect her own struggles with discrimination and racism, which is one reason why hooks includes several personal anecdotes in her writing. Hooks combines citations from other feminists and personal stories to contextualize her version of feminism.

Due to her unique, dual experience on the margins and in the center of society, hooks offers a unique perspective on the feminist movement’s failure to fully consider all forms of oppression and systems of domination. Her commentary on classism and racism is directly informed by her own work teaching feminist principles to audiences of varying literacy levels in segregated communities in Kentucky. As a self-identified queer Black woman, hooks’s writing revolves around issues of identity and solidarity in relation to race, class, and gender, and seeks to unify this personal concept of identity with solidarity and collective action.