Remembering bell hooks

Bell Hooks – Beloved*

Mit großem Gram und voller Liebe trauern wir um
bell hooks
(Revolutionäre) Feministische Denkerin, Autorin,
Wissenschaftlerin, Vorbild,
die für so viele von uns,
eine Sprache formte, um
mit ihr und in ihr zu sprechen,
eine Philosophie, um
darin zu denken,
Wege, um
ein Erbe,
zum Weitertragen

It is with great grief and love that we mourn the death of
bell hooks
(Revolutionary) Feminist Thinker, Writer, Academic, Role Model
Who, for so many of us,
created a critical language,
to speak (up) with,
a philosophy to think in,
paths to go along,
a legacy
to continue

سوگوار هستیم از مرگ
بِل هوکس
متفکر فمینیست نویسنده عالم اُلگو
که برای بسیاری از ما ها
یک زبانی به وجود آورد که با آن و در آن گپ بزنیم
یک فلسفه ای
که در آن فکر بتوانیم
راه هایی
که در آنان برویم
یک میراثی که
 پیش ببریم.

C’est avec grande tristesse et plein d’amour que nous pleurons la disparition de
bell hooks
Penseuse féministe (révolutionnaire), auteure,
scientifique, modèle,
qui, pour tant d’entre nous,
a façonné une langue pour
parler avec elle et par elle,
une philosophie
dans laquelle penser,
des chemins pour
aller plus loin,
un héritage
à transmettre

Mariam Popal:

So vieles, fällt mir zu bell hooks ein, so viele wunderbare, visionäre Sätze, etwa dieser, randomly herausgegriffen aus einem der ersten Bücher, die ich gelesen habe, black looks – race and representation (1987), und die mich aufrichteten und ausatmen ließen, und immer noch:

Fear of being seen as insane may be a major factor keeping black women from expressing their most radical selves. Just recently, when I spoke against the omnipresent racism and sexism at a conference, calling it terroristic, the organizers told folks I was ‘crazy’. While this hurt and angered, it would have wounded me more had I not understood the ways this appellation is used by those in power to keep the powerless in their place. Knowing that Chisholm claimed her right to subjectivity without apology inspires me to maintain courage.

bell hooks (1987): Black Looks – Race and Representation. 54.

Céline Barry:

Mich begleiten viele der Gedanken, die bell hooks mit uns geteilt hat. Ein Werk, das mich aktuell ganz besonders beschäftigt, ist Where We Stand. Class Matters aus dem Jahr 2000. Ein paar Sätze aus dem Vorwort und der Einleitung:

Nowadays it is fashionable to talk about race or gender; the uncool subject is class. It’s the subject that makes us all tense, nervous, uncertain about where we stand. (…)
Oftentimes I too am afraid to think and write about class. (…)
In much of my other work, I have chosen gender or race as a starting point. I choose class now because I believe class warfare will be our (…) fate if we do not collectively challenge classism, if we do not attend to the widening gap between rich and poor, the haves and have-nots. This class conflict is already racialized and gendered. It is already creating division and separation. If (…) (we) want to live in a society that is class-free, then we must first work to create an economic system that is just. To work for change, we need to know where we stand.

bell hooks (2000): Where We Stand. Class Matters. Vii, 6, 8f.

Denise Bergold-Caldwell:

Die Nachricht vom Tod von bell hooks erreichte mich an dem Tag,an dem ich erfuhr, dass das von mir, Vanessa Thompson und Christine Löw herausgegebene Heft zu Schwarzem Feminismus veröffentlicht wurde. Ich wollte mich zurückziehen und nur trauern, weil genau jene Person gestorben war, die für mich Schwarzen Feminismus lebbar, fühlbar, greifbar, philosophierbar und so vieles mehr macht. Aber sie lebt genau in unseren Auseinandersetzungen unserer dekolonialen Liebe weiter.

When we understand love as the will to nurture our own and another’s spiritual growth, it becomes clear that we cannot claim to love if we are hurtful and abusive.

bell hooks (2000): All about love. 10.

Iman Attia:

Mein (aktuelles) Lieblingszitat, weil wir Orte brauchen, in denen wir heilen und Kraft schöpfen können, in denen wir sicher sind und aufatmen können, in denen wir Erfahrungen teilen und deswegen Raum für anderes ist:

This task of making homeplace was not simply a matter of black women providing service; it was about the construction of a safe place where black people could affirm one another and by so doing heal many of the wounds inflicted by racist domination. We could not learn to love or respect ourselves in the culture of white supremacy, on the outside; it was there on the inside, in that „homeplace“, most often created and kept by black women, that we had the opportunity to grow and develop, to nurture our spirits. This task of making a homeplace, of making home a community of resistance, has been shared by black women globally, especially black women in white supremacist societies.

bell hooks (1990): Homeplace (a site of resistance).

Muriel González Athenas:

Eine große Seele ist gegangen! Zu der Trauer stellt sich ein Gefühl der Sorge ein. Wenn Stimmen wie Toni Morrison, Esther Bejarano und bell hooks fehlen, können wir das Vermächtnis des Widerstandes fortsetzen?

Die Teilnahme an einem intellektuellen Austausch, in dem die Menschen eine Vielfalt von Standpunkten kennenlernen, befähigt sie, Solidarität direkt zu erfahren; diese wird in einer Atmosphäre konstruktiven Austauschs und kritischer Konfrontation immer stärker.

bell hooks (1996): Sehnsucht und Widerstand.

Lasst uns weiter Solidarität praktizieren und Kolonialität und Rassimus in den Brennpunkt nehmen!

Iris Rajanayagam:

Mein Lieblingszitat von bell hooks:

I came to theory because I was hurting – the pain within me was so intense that I could not go on living. I came to theory desperate, wanting to comprehend – to grasp what was happening around and within me. Most importantly, I wanted the hurt to go away. I saw in theory then a location for healing.

bell hooks (1992): Theory as Liberatory Practice.

Sabine Broeck:

bell hooks‚ work has accompanied me for decades. i have never met her personally, but her critical radical interventions have been a strong and constant presence in seminars i taught. Ain’t I a Woman was one of the first texts in the early 1980s to teach me about the limited vision and anti-black formation of white feminism, my own included. anti-racist and decolonial critique will be indebted to her directness and clarity. gone way too soon, she will be sorely missed in so many different contexts. i will remember her by way of sentences like this one:

I say to my students: Decolonize. But there’s also that price for decolonization. You’re not gonna have the wealth. You’re not gonna be getting your Genius award funded by the militaristic, imperialist MacArthur people.

bell hooks (2014): Are You Still A Slave (

Dominique Schirmer:

Eigentlich ist es nicht mögich, DAS EINE Zitat von bell hooks herauszugreifen, das wichtig und auch prägend ist. Hier dennoch ein Lieblingsabsatz:

Women who were lesbians, of all races and classes, were at the forefront of the radicalization of contemporary female resistance to patriarchy in part because this group had by their sexual preference already placed themselves outside the domain of heterosexist privilege and protection, both in the home and in the workplace. No matter their class, they were social outcasts, the objects of patriarchal abuse and scorn. Concurrently, unlike their heterosexual counterparts, they were not relying on men to support them economically. They needed and wanted equal pay for equal work. Much revolutionary and/or radical feminist thought was produced by lesbians who had a longer personal history of challenging patriarchal conceptions of women’s roles.

bell hooks (2000): Where We Stand. Class Matters. 102f.

Pinar Tuzcu:

bell hooks was for me one of the most important teachers I had in my life. I learned so much from her. She was for me an empowering teacher and a vigorous educator at a distance whom I have never met in person but her thoughts and wisdom have reached me and touched me so close and so deeply. Her sense of justice has guided me both in my academic and personal life. She sure will be dearly missed. I celebrate that this world has hosted a spirit like her, that we had bell hooks. By acknowledging that it is only her physical body that left this mundane world, my appreciation and honoring are for what she left behind immortal on and for this earth. 

Moving from silence into speech is for the oppressed, the colonized, the exploited, and those who stand in struggle side by side a gesture of defiance that heals, that makes new life and new growth possible. It is that act of speech, of „talking back“ that is no mere gesture of empty words, that is the expression of our movement from object to subject—the liberated voice.

bell hooks (1989): Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black.

Onur Suzan Nobrega:

During the most challenging days of becoming an academic author writing a PhD, I was reading bell hooks over and over again. Feeling bell hooks‘ words, opening up to her thoughts that keep on blowing my mind and sharing her quotes with the world allowed me to understand and connect our collective struggles. Her sharp analysis, courageous thinking, hope, love and perseverance are all necessary in a world in which the lived experiences and politics of racialised, working class women remain central for antiracist, antifacist and anticolonial feminist struggles. I believe that both naming the relations of oppression and offering ways in which to overcome subordination requires – in the words of bell hooks:

to create an oppositional worldview, a consciousness, an identity, a standpoint that exists not only as that struggle which also opposes de-humanization but as that movement which enables creative, expansive self-actualization.

bell hooks (1990): Yearning: Race, Gender, And Cultural Politics. 15.

*bell hooks – beloved 
English, German, Dari: / Englisch, Deutsch, Dari: Mariam Popal
French translation: / Französische Übersetzung: Céline Barry
Editorial Board/Editoriales:  Mariam Popal, Céline Barry, Denise Bergold-Caldwell
Design/Gestaltung: Angela Frick