I was asked to write about bell hooks’ life and legacy but I realized it would not be true to the spirit of how she lived for any one person to sum her up. Instead I have gathered a communal offering of memory, friendship, loss and love for the visionary we’ve lost.

bell spent her life standing up against “imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” – a phrase she said she didn’t much like but which connected all the forms of domination that are enslaving us in the world today. I watched her create, along with other women, a vision of Black feminism that invigorated an entire generation. She taught me personally about so many things: decolonization, the tyranny and trap of masculinity, how love must be our guiding principle in all that we do, the roles white women can and can’t play in this movement.


bell once wrote that “one of the most vital ways we sustain ourselves is by building communities of resistance, places where we know we are not alone”. So I reached out to gather some memories from, as Stephanie Troutman says, “the beloved community bell helped to create”.

– V (formerly Eve Ensler)