On Role Models

This one really hurts. In the mid 80s, when I was a student at Duke, a visiting professor/lecturer was bell hooks. An amazing poet and writer, she also encouraged students, especially women, to find their voice. She combined incredible warmth and intelligence, a tough mix at times, especially for a Black woman teaching in the South. Her gaze saw you. With kindness. If you follow my writing, I have quoted her often and credit her with helping my self-esteem and development as a writer and woman, and for so many others.

I am known for my disdain of most celebrity culture. Rather, heroes are incredible people who leave indelible marks on our souls. bell hooks used the lowercase for her name because she did not believe that name, prestige, or position defined a person. We define us.

She said feminism is about ending overall inequity and oppression. Period. She was intersectional before we even used that word.

In gratitude, may you rest in power. 🙏🏽❤️

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