bell hooks (1952–2021)

bell hooks has passed away at the age of 69. It’s a tragic loss to the world and she will be sorely missed but her work in writing, feminism, and activism lives on. I remember reading her essay ‘Plantation Mistress or Soul Sister‘ for my dissertation and how it changed a lot of my perspectives on Black music, Madonna, and Blackness as well as giving me new ones.

Below are some links to obituaries, dedications, and essential reading for those unfamiliar with her work. In the words of Raquel Willis:

If you’re just learning about bell hooks, there’s no shame. You can always read her words and meet her on the page.

Articles and papers

Videos

Books (note: links are from Bookshop but aren’t affiliate links)

Women in Type showcases the influential women of typography

Type is more than fancy serifs, sans-serifs, ligatures, and Helvetica everywhere. Women in Type is a brilliant interactive site that highlights the contributions of women in the type industry since the last century. There are a host of photos of women in printing studios and type drawing offices alongside links exploring feminism, technology, and their own stories. There’s also a reading list should you want to go further down the type rabbit hole.

I did notice a lack of Black women or women of colour at all amongst the photos (I maybe saw one woman of Far Eastern descent?) and while I’m sure there was sexism and racism within the industry—as with any—there must have been more than one or two that had a significant influence on type. Maybe there were more WoC in type outside of Europe but that might have taken this research project outside of its scope (head to the Credits section for the source of the photos).

To read more about the research project, head over to the University of Reading’s official page.

An Alternate Feminist Cinema list on Letterboxd

Hat tip to my friend Sy for tweeting this alternate feminist film list on Letterboxd:

This is a list capped at 100 films threading a counter history to cinema. This is not a “ra-ra girl power” collection, or even a list of women’s influences on a cinematic canon, but a collection of cinema that is unique in its willingness to show and to radicalize the female experience. Early films on here that may be less overt in their feminist messaging are included either because they show women’s place in revolutionary causes, are a first to depict an experience, or have been key in the discussion surrounding this alternate text.

All films are briefly annotated explaining why they’re here. Discussion is welcome, but please understand that this is made with an awareness of an intrinsically misogynist studio system, a desire for avant-garde and worldwide productions. Therefore, this will not be including the newest wide-release intended to pander to “women’s issues”.

I highly recommend you read the full notes on the list page.

Angela Davis: Revolution today

angela davis

In a lecture for CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona), Angela Davis discussed the meaning of revolution today.

She called on her audience to continue to fight for progress and criticised “the mainstream feminist movement”.

“The mainstream feminist movement has made serious, serious mistakes. You know, I often point out that when I wrote a book that was published in 1981 called Women, Race, & Class, everybody started referring to me as a feminist and my response was ‘I’m not a feminist, you know, I’m a black revolutionary’ because I didn’t see how the two had anything to do with each other. But I realized that I was talking about a certain kind of feminism, a bourgeois feminism, a feminism that is still unfortunately […] white bourgeois feminism which is unfortunately the most represented feminism today and most people think that as feminism.”

Stream the full lecture below with subtitles available in English, Spanish, and Catalan.

Angela Davis. Revolution Today