50+ Best Bell Hooks Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, is an American author, professor, feminist, and social activist. Profoundly inspirational bell hooks quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for quotes by prominent activists that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes by Coretta Scott King, best Dorothy Day quotes and greatest Elizabeth Cady Stanton quotes.

Famous Bell Hooks Quotes

The rage of the oppressed is never the same as the rage of the privileged.

Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power – not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist.

What we cannot imagine cannot come into being.

Justice demands integrity.

When we choose to love, we choose to move against fear, against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect, to find ourselves in the other.

Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.

Since loving is about knowing, we have more meaningful love relationships when we know each other and it takes time to know each other.

Racism has always been a divisive force separating black men and white men, and sexism has been a force that unites the two groups.

I think the truth is that finding ourselves brings more excitement and well-being than anything romance has to offer, and somewhere we know that.

Shaming is one of the deepest tools of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy because shame produces trauma and trauma often produces paralysis.

When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever bonds rather than to maintain commitment.

I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.

Wisely, Baldwin insisted that we are always more than our pain. Not only did he believe in our capacity to love, he felt black people were uniquely situated to risk loving because we had suffered.

When we love children, we acknowledge by our every action that they are not property, that they have rights – that we respect and uphold their rights.

Inspirational Bell Hooks Quotes

There will be no mass-based feminist movement as long as feminist ideas are understood only by a well-educated few.

The moment we choose to love, we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others.

If I do not speak in a language that can be understood there is little chance for a dialogue.

Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am. It is silly, isn’t it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself.

The white worker who has been displaced at General Motors has more in common with the displaced black worker than those larger white CEO’s, and those Wall Street people who are determining their fate…whose thievery and greed is determining their fate.

Popular escapist fiction enchants adult readers without challenging them to be educated for critical consciousness.

…men will continue to fear that any critique of patriarchy represents a threat.

The crisis facing men is not the crisis of masculinity, it is the crisis of patriarchal masculinity.

One of the most vital ways we sustain ourselves is by building communities of resistance, places where we know we are not alone.

Abuse and neglect negate love. Care and affirmation, the opposite of abuse and humiliation, are the foundation of love. No one can rightfully claim to be loving when behaving abusively.

Being oppressed means the absence of choices.

All too often in our society it is assumed that one can know all there is to know about black people by merely hearing the life story and opinions of one black person.

People with healthy self-esteem do not need to create pretend identities.

Because we have learned to believe negativity is more realistic, it appears more real than any positive voice.

In an imperialist racist patriarchal society that supports and condones oppression, it is not surprising that men and women judge their worth, their personal power, by their ability to oppress others.

Yesterday I was thinking about the whole idea of genius and creative people, and the notion that if you create some magical art, somehow that exempts you from having to pay attention to the small things.

We judge on the basis of what somebody looks like, skin color, whether we think they’re beautiful or not. That space on the Internet allows you to converse with somebody with none of those things involved.

Amazing Bell Hooks Quotes

To know love we have to invest time and commitment…’dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love — which is to transform us.’

True resistance begins with people confronting pain…and wanting to do something to change it.

True love is a different story. When it happens, individuals usually feel in touch with each other’s core identity.

What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe.

To live fixated on the future is to engage in psychological denial.

Of all the definitions of love that abound in our universe, a special favorite of mine is…the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.

I really like to stay in my nest and not move. I travel in my mind, and that’s a rigorous state of journeying for me.

As we search as a nation for constructive ways to challenge racism and white supremacy, it is absolutely essential that progressive female voices gain a hearing.

To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.

Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust.

Usually adult males who are unable to make emotional connections with the women they choose to be intimate with are frozen in time, unable to allow themselves to love for fear that the loved one will abandon them.

Hope is essential to any political struggle for radical change when the overall social climate promotes disillusionment and despair.

My thoughts have been shaped by the conviction that feminism must become a mass based political movement if it is to have a revolutionary, transformative impact on society.

All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm’s way.

In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress.

The ability to critique oneself and change and to hear critique from others is the condition of being that makes us capable of responsibility.

If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.

The word love is most often defined as a noun, yet all the more astute theorists of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we used it as a verb.

But love is really more of an interactive process. It’s about what we do not just what we feel. It’s a verb, not a noun.

The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression.”

To counter the fixation on a rhetoric of victimhood, black folks must engage in a discourse of self-determination.

Individuals who want to believe that there is no fulfillment in love, that true love does not exist, cling to these assumptions because this despair is actually easier to face than the reality that love is a real fact of life but is absent from their lives.

If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice.

To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality.

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