Online memorial reading will honor bell hooks

The online program is on Jan. 25. There is no charge to view the reading, which will feature Kentucky writer Silas House.

The public is invited to an online memorial reading of works by the Black feminist writer and Hopkinsville native bell hooks. It will be from 5 until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25.

The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington is hosting the reading, and executive director Neil Chetnik will serve as the emcee. 

bell hooks is the pen name of the late Gloria Jean Watkins, who was born on Sept. 25, 1952, in Hopkinsville. She died on Dec. 15 at her home in Berea.

hooks, who took her pen name from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks, was one of the country’s leading feminist scholars and the author of more than 30 books. Her first book, “Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism,” was published in 1981 and helped shaped feminist theory in America. 

In her writing, she addressed issues including race, gender, class, geography and love. She also wrote poetry and children’s books. 

The Carnegie Center named hooks to its Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame in 2017. Another Hopkinsville native, Ted Poston, was recently selected for the Hall of Fame’s 2022 class. 

The first speaker for the memorial reading will be Kentucky writer Silas House, who will share about his friendship with hooks. 

Several others, including Claudia Love Mair, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Patrick Mitchell, DaMaris Hill, will each read a passage from the works of hooks. 

The Carnegie Center provided this Zoom link to access the memorial reading. 

Online memorial reading will honor bell hooks

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.