the practice of freedom: a tribute to bell hooks

Patriarchy has no gender. bell hooks. the practice of freedom: a tribute to bell hooks. from Teaching Critical Thinking. Practical Wisdom (Taylor and Francis 2009). The Mind's Eye. Research & Praxis at MCLA.In her trailblazing work, the writer, educator, activist, and intellectual, bell hooks, championed an unwavering critique of systems of dominations at their intersections. To engage in the work of justice is to recognize the interconnectedness of what hooks called the "Imperialist White Supremacist Heteropatriarchy." For hooks, education can be a “practice of freedom” in which an “openness of mind and heart allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress.” 

Upon the one-year anniversary of her passing on December 15, 2021, we celebrate hooks’ tremendous contributions to domains of transformative pedagogy, intersectional feminisms, racial justice and the Black intellectual tradition. “the practice of freedom: a tribute to bell hooks” is a community poster project featuring striking quotations from a variety of hooks' many books and essays. Created by The Mind's Eye, the poster project aims to underscore the enduring power of hooks' words. 

Posters will be displayed in a variety of locations across MCLA's campus and in the windows of 49 Main St., North Adams, for the month of December 2022. This project was created by Dr. Victoria Papa, Assistant Professor of English (MCLA) and Director of The Mind's Eye, with student interns, Salimatu Bah and Dalena Soun. 


Quotations featured on the posters are from the following sources:

"There are times when I hunger for those days: the days when I thought of art only as the expressive creativity of a soul struggling to self-actualize. Art has no race or gender. Art, and most especially painting, was for me a realm where every imposed boundary could be transgressed."(p. xi, Art on My Mind: Visual Politics, The New Press, 1995)

“Communion with life begins with the earth…” (p.16 Where We Stand: Class Matters. Routledge, 2000)

"I celebrate teaching that enables transgressions—a movement against and beyond boundaries. It is that movement which makes education the practice of freedom." (p. 12, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. Routledge, 1994)

“The heart of justice is truth telling…  More than ever before we, as a society, need to renew a commitment to truth telling.” (p. 33, All About Love: New Visions. HarperCollins, 2001)

"Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust." (p. 131, Communion: The Female Search for Love. HarperCollins, 2002)

"Patriarchy has no gender.” (p. 170, Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom. Taylor and Francis, 2009)

"The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy."(p. 12 Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. Routledge, 1994)

"Feminism is neither a lifestyle nor a ready-made identity or role one can step into […] it is necessarily a struggle to eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture [...]" (p. 24 & 26, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. South End Press, 1984)