Famed Black feminist scholar and author bell hooks has passed away.
According to MSN, the writer died at her home in Berea, Kentucky on Wednesday (December 15) at the age of 69 following an illness.
Born Gloria Jean Watkins, hooks grew up in Kentucky before attending Stanford University. She eventually took on her pen name –– after her grandmother and lower cased to avert personal attention.
In 1981, she published her first book, Ain't I A Woman? Black Women and Feminism, the title referencing a speech delivered by Sojourner Truth in 1851. hook's debut book would go on to become regarded as one of the most important in the study of intersectionality, feminism, and the Black woman experience.
In 1983, hooks earned a doctorate of literature from the University of Santa Cruz. Her dissertation researched the work of Toni Morrison.
In her 50-year career, hooks penned over 40 books, including poetry and children's literature. She also taught at Berea College where she founded the bell hooks Center in 2010.
Prominent scholars and fellow writers, including Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom reacted to the news of hooks' passing.
"Her loss is incalculable," Gay wrote.