Along with teaching a several colleges and universities in the early 80s while in California, South End Press (Boston) published her first major work, “Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism in 1981”. Decades after its publication, it has gained widespread recognition as an influential contribution to postmodern feminist thought. Ain’t I a Woman? opened the door to recurring topics she would discuss in her later work, such as the historical impact of sexism and racism on black women, devaluation of black womanhood, media roles and portrayal, the education system, the "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy", the marginalization of black women; and the disregard for issues of race and class within feminism. Since the publication of Ain’t I a Woman?, she became a strong liberal, postmodern political thinker and one of women's most cultural critic. Her voice attracts to many different topics and was able to use many various media outlets to spread her word. Besides her book publications and articles, she has provide many lectures and appears in various documentaries and news productions such as CSPAN. Hooks gave a controversial commencement speech in 2002 at Southwestern University. Rather than taking the congratulatory mode to the students, she spoke of government-sanctioned violence and oppression, causing a ruckus amongst students and parents, such to the tune of parents refusing to donate money to the university. Her work has been an example of not only her life experiences and personal views on the societal views or race, gender, culture and total harmony of its mutual existence, she has provided inspiration and a voice to all women to open their eyes to reality and also how to embrace the fact of womanly traits and intelligence. She has stood and faced patriarchy and overcome the challenges of those issues in her own life to inspire other women and people alike to do the same in a responsible way.
As part of our reading assignments this semester, we had to read "Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics" (2000), as this was my first introduction to bell hooks. Not knowing her prior to the reading gave me a , but now after her book and this assignment, I have enjoyed learning about her life and can respect her views and opinions she has so passionately expressed in many different outlets. As I move on toward obtaining another degree and facing challenges in life, I can appreciate everything hooks has accomplished with the utmost respect outside of her views on feminism.