Bell Hooks quotes

  • For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Forgiveness #Believe #Compassion

  • What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Believe #Important

  • Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Commitment #Responsibility #Love Is

  • Any woman who wishes to be an intellectual, to write non-fiction, to deal with theory, faces a lot of discrimination coming her way and perhaps even self-doubt because there aren't that many who've gone before you. And I think that the most powerful tool we can have is to be clear about our intent. To know what it is we want to do rather than going into institutions thinking that the institution is going to frame for us.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Powerful #Writing #Thinking

  • 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.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Life #Meaningful #Art

  • We live in a world with serious class complexes. It is one thing to be a college student with loan debts and another thing to be just dirt poor for your entire life. The challenge is to come up with more complex understandings of where we are, more global awareness of what connects Americans with what is happening with suffering and oppressed people all around the world.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #College #Class #People

  • As long as women are using class or race power to dominate other women, feminist sisterhood cannot be fully realized.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Sisterhood #Race #Class

  • Hip-Hop is diverse. But the white, capitalist producers and distributors of Hip-Hop are most interested in the Hip-Hip that is misogynist, that is Black-hating, that is pugilistic, that is to say all about fighting and war and killing and gangsterism.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #War #Hate #Fighting

  • Genuine love is rarely an emotional space where needs are instantly gratified. 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.' Many people want love to function like a drug, giving them an immediate and sustained high. They want to do nothing, just passively receive the good feeling.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Dream #Real #Commitment

  • If Black women stand strong and our commitment is to ending domination I know that I'm supporting Black males, Black children male and female Black elderly because the bottom line is the struggle to end domination in all its forms.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Strong #Children #Struggle

  • Whether we're talking about race or gender or class, popular culture is where the pedagogy is, it's where the learning is.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Talking #Class #Race

  • The most basic activism we can have in our lives is to live consciously in a nation living in fantasies. Living consciously is living with a core of healthy self-esteem. You will face reality, you will not delude yourself.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Self Esteem #Reality #Healthy

  • Women are often belittled for trying to resurrect these men and bring them back to life and to love. They are in a world that would be even more alienated and violent if caring women did not do the work of teaching men who have lost touch with themselves how to love again. This labor of love is futile only when the men in question refuse to awaken, refuse growth. At this point it is a gesture of self-love for women to break their commitment and move on.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Moving #Teaching #Commitment

  • I think stress is anything going on in our lives that impinges on our capacity to have optimum well being.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Stress #Thinking #Capacity

  • If I were really asked to define myself, I wouldn’t start with race; I wouldn’t start with blackness; I wouldn’t start with gender; I wouldn’t start with feminism. I would start with stripping down to what fundamentally informs my life, which is that I’m a seeker on the path. I think of feminism, and I think of anti-racist struggles as part of it. But where I stand spiritually is, steadfastly, on a path about love.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Struggle #Thinking #Race

  • My focus has always been on the work - that work being critical thinking and writing. I am always doing that. That's where I am, wherever I am. Critical thinking and writing as my heartbeat.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Writing #Thinking #Focus

  • The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood on that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Girl #Children #Order

  • Radical militant feminist believes that women of color and Black women in particular have written the cutting edge theory and really were the individuals who exploded feminist theory into the directions that has made it more powerful. So I see us as the leaders not just of Black people and Black women in terms of feminism but in terms of the movement as a whole.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Powerful #Believe #Cutting

  • 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.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Believe #Commitment #Expression

  • Feminism as a theoretical enterprise is approached differently by Black women depending on where we are. There are more reformist Black women who tend to use the phrase "Black feminism".
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Black #Feminism #Phrases

  • No other group in America has so had their identity socialized out of existence as have black women... When black people are talked about the focus tends to be on black men; and when women are talked about the focus tends to be on white women.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Men #White #America

  • It's really important to have life strategies and part of that is sort of knowing where you want to go so you can have a map that helps you to get there. And the traditional way tells us oh we get into school and someone else advises us, helps us, but that often does not work for African Americans female and male. Because what works for the dominant culture often does not work for us.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #School #Knowing #African American

  • Reviewing the literature on love I noticed how few writers, male or female, talk about the impact of patriarchy, the way in which male domination of women and children stands in the ways of love.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Children #Impact #Males

  • Power feminism is just another scam in which women get to play patriarchs and pretend that the power we seek and gain liberates us.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Play #Feminism #Scams

  • Individual heterosexual women came to the movement from relationships where men were cruel, unkind, violent, unfaithful. Many of these men were radical thinkers who participated in movements for social justice, speaking out on behalf of the workers, the poor, speaking out on behalf of racial justice. However when it came to the issue of gender they were as sexist as their conservative cohorts.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Men #Issues #Justice

  • Sexism has never rendered women powerless. It has either suppressed their strength or exploited it.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Sexism #Powerless

  • The process begins with the individual woman’s acceptance that American women, without exception, are socialized to be racist, classist and sexist, in varying degrees, and that labeling ourselves feminists does not change the fact that we must consciously work to rid ourselves of the legacy of negative socialization.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Acceptance #Bad Ass #Feminist

  • I still think it's important for people to have a sharp, ongoing critique of marriage in patriarchal society — because once you marry within a society that remains patriarchal, no matter how alternative you want to be within your unit, there is still a culture outside you that will impose many, many values on you whether you want them to or not.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Thinking #People #Important

  • My hope emerges from those places of struggle where I witness individuals positively transforming their lives and the world around them. Educating is a vocation rooted in hopefulness. As teachers we believe that learning is possible, that nothing can keep an open mind from seeking after knowledge and finding a way to know.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Teacher #Believe #Struggle

  • It's in the act of having to do things that you don't want to that you learn something about moving past the self. Past the ego.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Fun #Women #Moving

  • All our silences in the face of racist assault are acts of complicity.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Silence #Faces #Racist

  • feminism is for everybody
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Motivational #Feminism

  • If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Agency #Self #Giving

  • One of the most subversive institutions in the United States is the public library..
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Library #United States #Institutions

  • I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Happiness #Success #Perseverance

  • Often in my lectures when I use the phrase “imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy” to describe our nation’s political system, audiences laugh. No one has ever explained why accurately naming this system is funny. The laughter is itself a weapon of patriarchal terrorism.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Laughter #White #Laughing

  • Sadly, children's passion for thinking often ends when they encounter a world that seeks to educate them for conformity and obedience only.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Children #Passion #Learning

  • Imagine how much easier it would be for us to learn how to love if we began with a shared definition.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #How To Love #Would Be #Definitions

  • For most people, what is so painful about reading is that you read something and you don't have anybody to share it with. In part what the book club opens up is that people can read a book and then have someone else to talk about it with. Then they see that a book can lead to the pleasure of conversation, that the solitary act of reading can actually be a part of the path to communion and community.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Book #Reading #People

  • The practice of love offers no place of safety. We risk loss, hurt, pain. We risk being acted upon by forces outside our control.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Hurt #Pain #Loss

  • A generous heart is always open, always ready to receive our going and coming. In the midst of such love we need never fear abandonment. This is the most precious gift true love offers - the experience of knowing we always belong.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Heart #Knowing #Needs

  • Young people are cynical about love. Ultimately, cynicism is the great mask of the disappointed and betrayed heart.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Heart #People #Cynical

  • Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Feminism #Movement #Oppression

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

    #Struggle #Political #Despair

  • …“white supremacy” is a much more useful term for understanding the complicity of people of color in upholding and maintaining racial hierarchies that do not involve force (i.e slavery, apartheid) than the term “internalized racism”- a term most often used to suggest that black people have absorbed negative feelings and attitudes about blackness. The term “white supremacy” enables us to recognize not only that black people are socialized to embody the values and attitudes of white supremacy, but we can exercise “white supremacist control” over other black people.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Attitude #Exercise #White

  • In an ideal world we would all learn in childhood to love ourselves. We would grow, being secure in our worth and value, spreading love wherever we went, letting our light shine. If we did not learn self-love in our youth, there is still hope. The light of love is always in us, no matter how cold the flame. It is always present, waiting for the spark to ignite, waiting for the heart to awaken and call us back to the first memory of being the life force inside a dark place waiting to be born - waiting to see the light.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Memories #Heart #Dark

  • Many spiritual teachers - in Buddhism, in Islam - have talked about first-hand experience of the world as an important part of the path to wisdom, to enlightenment.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Spiritual #Teacher #Buddhism

  • If only one party in the relationship is working to create love, to create the space of emotional connection, the dominator model remains in place and the relationship just becomes a site for continuous power struggle.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Party #Struggle #Emotional

  • How different things might be if, rather than saying "I think I'm in love," we were saying "I've connected with someone in a way that makes me think I'm on the way to knowing love." Or if instead of saying "I am in love" we say "I am loving" or "I will love." Our patterns around romantic love are unlikely to change if we do not change our language.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Romantic Love #Thinking #Knowing

  • Feminist effort to end patriarchal domination should be of primary concern precisely because it insists on the eradication of exploitation and oppression in the family context and in all other intimate relationships. It is that political movement which most radically addresses the person – the personal – citing the need for the transformation of self, of relationships, so that we might be better able to act in a revolutionary manner, challenging and resisting domination, transforming the world outside the self.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Self #Political #Feminist

  • The practice of love is the most powerful antidote to the politics of domination.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Powerful #Love Is #Practice

  • I write these words to bear witness to the primacy of resistance struggle in any situation of domination (even within family life); to the strength and power that emerges from sustained resistance and the profound conviction that these forces can be healing, can protect us from dehumanization and despair.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Struggle #Healing #Writing

  • There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Effort #Understanding #Way

  • Relationships are treated like Dixie cups. They are the same. They are disposable. If it does not work, drop it, throw it away, get another. Committed bonds (including marriage) cannot last when this is the prevailing logic. Most of us are unclear about what to do to protect and strengthen caring bonds when our self-centered needs are not being met.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Caring #Self #Doe

  • It is necessary to remember, as we think critically about domination, that we all have the capacity to act in ways that oppress, dominate, wound (whether or not that power is institutionalized). It is necessary to remember that it is first the potential oppressor within that we must resist – the potential victim within that we must rescue – otherwise we cannot hope for an end to domination, for liberation.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Thinking #Way #Firsts

  • 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.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Real #Believe #Love Is

  • Honesty and openness is always the foundation of insightful dialogue.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Honesty #Insightful #Foundation

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

    #Relationship #Pain #Commitment

  • 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.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Community #Way #Awareness

  • Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Thinking #Hands #Suffering

  • Changing how we see images is clearly one way to change the world.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #World #Way #Changing The World

  • I believe that it is impossible for two individuals not committed to their own and each other’s well being to sustain a healthy and enduring relationship.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Believe #Two #Healthy

  • All too often we think of community in terms of being with folks like ourselves: the same class, same race, same ethnicity, same social standing and the like..I think we need to be wary: we need to work against the danger of evoking something that we don’t challenge ourselves to actually practice.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Thinking #Race #Ethnicity

  • Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, revelling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Meaningful #Moving #Differences

  • We fear that evaluating our needs and then carefully choosing partners will reveal that there is no one for us to love. Most of us prefer to have a partner who is lacking than no partner at all. What becomes apparent is that we may be more interested in finding a partner than in knowing love.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Knowing #Needs #May

  • To love well is the task in all meaningful relationships, not just romantic bonds.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Meaningful #Tasks #Meaningful Relationship

  • ..Acts of appropriation are part of the process by which we make ourselves. Appropriating - taking something for one’s own use - need not be synonymous with exploitation. This is especially true of cultural appropriation. The “use” one makes of what is appropriated is the crucial factor.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Needs #Use #Process

  • as females in a patriarchal culture, we were not slaves of love; most of us were and are slaves of longing-- yearning for a master who will set us free and claim us because we cannot claim ourselves
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Female #Culture #Longing

  • I grew up in the midst of poverty but every black kid that I knew could read and write. We have to talk about the fact that we cannot educate for critical consciousness if we have a group of people who cannot access Fanon, Cabral, or Audre Lorde because they can’t read or write. How did Malcolm X radicalize his consciousness? He did it through books. If you deprive working-class and poor black people of access to reading and writing, you are making them that much farther removed from being a class that can engage in revolutionary resistance.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Book #Reading #Writing

  • There is light in darkness, you just have to find it.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Light #Darkness

  • Being oppressed means the absence of choices
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Mean #Choices #Absence

  • Without justice there can be no love.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Justice

  • The rage of the oppressed is never the same as the rage of the privileged.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Rage #Oppressed

  • The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom...
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Moving #Moments

  • There are times when personal experience keeps us from reaching the mountain top and so we let it go because the weight of it is too heavy. And sometimes the mountain top is difficult to reach with all our resources, factual and confessional, so we are just there, collectively grasping, feeling the limitations of knowledge, longing together, yearning for a way to reach that highest point. Even this yearning is a way to know.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Feelings #Together #Mountain

  • The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is-it’s to imagine what is possible.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Art #Writing #Imagine

  • To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Responsibility #Thinking #Accountability

  • Shame produces trauma. Trauma produces paralysis.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Shame #Produce #Trauma

  • Feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression. Its aim is not to benefit solely any specific group of women, any particular race or class of women. It does not privilege women over men. It has the power to transform meaningfully all our lives
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Struggle #Men #Race

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

    #Reality #Roots #Imagination

  • Writing and performing should deepen the meaning of words, should illuminate, transfix and transform.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Writing #Should #Performing

  • The challenge these days, is to be somewhere, to belong to some particular place, invest oneself in it, draw strength and courage from it, to dwell in a community.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Community #Challenges #These Days

  • To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients - care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Communication #Commitment #Care

  • Usually, when people talk about the "strength" of black women . . . . they ignore the reality that to be strong in the face of oppression is not the same as overcoming oppression, that endurance is not to be confused with transformation.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Strong #Confused #Reality

  • I began writing a book on love because I felt that the United States is moving away from love.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Moving On #Book #Writing

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

    #Littles #Chance #Language

  • 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.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #I Love You #Moving #Love Is

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

    #Real #Believe #Voice

  • Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Book #Reading #Ideas

  • Justice demands integrity. It’s to have a moral universe — not only know what is right or wrong but to put things in perspective, weigh things. Justice is different from violence and retribution; it requires complex accounting.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Integrity #Justice #Perspective

  • I entered the classroom with the conviction that it was crucial for me and every other student to be an active participant, not a passive consumer...education as the practice of freedom.... education that connects the will to know with the will to become. Learning is a place where paradise can be created.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Practice #Paradise #Students

  • If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice, have recognition for difference without attaching difference to privilege.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Differences #Justice #Community

  • I always tell my students that Malcolm X came both to his spirituality and to his consciousness as a thinker when he had solitude to read. Unfortunately, tragically, like so many young black males, that solitude only came in prison.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Solitude #Black #Males

  • When we drop fear, we can draw nearer to people, we can draw nearer to the earth, we can draw nearer to all the heavenly creatures that surround us.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Happiness #Success #Perseverance

  • 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.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Love Is #Verbs #Nouns

  • If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Justice #Community #Want

  • Commitment to truth telling lays the groundwork for the openness and honesty that is the heartbeat of love.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Honesty #Heart #Commitment

  • Love does have the power to redeem but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Doe #Redemption #Want

  • I mostly want to remind her of the recipes of healing, and give her my own made-on-the spot remedy for the easing of her pain. I tell her, “Get a pen. Stop crying so you can write this down and start working on it tonight.” My remedy is long. But the last item on the list says: “When you wake up and find yourself living someplace where there is nobody you love and trust, no community, it is time to leave town – to pack up and go (you can even go tonight). And where you need to go is any place where there are arms that can hold you, that will not let you go.
    -- Bell Hooks

    #Pain #Healing #Writing

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

    #Ideas #Long #Feminist