B is for bell hooks:
bell hooks who's government name is Gloria Jean Watkins, used the pen name bell hooks in reference to her great-grandmother and she intentionally un-capitalizes her name so that the focus is on her work rather than her name.
She was one of the first women I read who's work taught me what feminism truly was and more specifically it's relationship towards black women. The first book I read written by her was Aint I a woman? Black women and Feminism. This book completely changed my life. It taught me so much about my history as a young black woman and that everything being taught about my history wasn't necessarily the truth. It put many things in perspective for me and helped me to see what was really going on.
Another book by bell hooks that really inspired me was Talking Back, in this work, she speaks on feminism and references her own life and how she was expected to be silent and be the stereotype of how society felt a girl should behave. She mentions that she stayed in trouble because she was constantly speaking out.
If you have not read any of her work, I suggest that you do. You definitely won't regret it. bell hooks is such an inspration because she challenges you to shed the beliefs you have when it comes to gender stereotypes and gender roles. She speaks on what feminism really is. Not only that she was the first person who taught me that it was okay to "Talk Back" or in other speak out, which has always been an issue for me because I was often afraid of what people might say or think of me and even further I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings but if you're remaining silent then your feelings are the one's who are continuously hurt. There comes a time when you have to say F**k everyone else's feelings. I'm going to speak my truth whether he/she/they like it or not. I've been doing so ever since and I'll never stop. Thanks bell hooks for showing me the way.
bell hooks in her own words: "I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance."