Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

The Quotable Black Scholar: Bell Hooks on Healing the Black Psyche

November 2nd, 2009 by Ajuan Mance


Profilic writer-scholar bell hooks (nee Gloria Watkins)

(Source: Rhetericia on PhotoBucket)


For many years, and even now, generations of black folks who migrated north to escape life in the south, returned down home in search of a spiritual nourishment, a healing, that was fundamentally connected to reaffirming one’s connection to nature, to a contemplative life where one could take time, sit on the porch, walk, fish, and catch lightning bugs. If we think of urban life as a location where black folks learned to accepts a mind/body split that made it possible to abuse the body, we can better understand the growth of nihilism and despair in the black psyche. And we can know that when we talk about healing that psyche we must also speak about restoring our connection to the natural world.

– bell hooks in Sisters of the Yam (180)


Biographical Notes: Gloria Watkins (known professionally by her pen name, “bell hooks”), holds a B.A. from Stanford University (1973), an M.A. form the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. One of the most prolific and influential feminist scholars of the last 30 years, she has written and published more than 20 books and numerous articles related to Black feminism, cultural studies, and critical analysis.


Posted in African Americans, Black History, race

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