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Acknowledgement Series: Bell Hooks, Carl Van Vechten, Angela Davis, and Booker T. Washington

Happy Saturday! This post marks the second to last in our Acknowledgement Series featuring influential Black writers and poets throughout the years.

Here at Writing It Wells we feel its important to raise awareness about the lack of diversity in publishing. When we block stories from Blacks and minorities we are limiting the narrative. We are only getting one part of our story as a nation. This series is designed to share the spotlight. Each Saturday we will be choosing more amazing Black writers to feature. We're telling the story of their lives and works so that we can all learn from their experiences.

Today we're celebrating Bell Hooks, Angela Davis, and Booker T. Washington.

Bell Hooks has addressed race, class, and gender in education, art, history, sexuality, mass media, and feminism in over thirty books she's written.

Here are some of her works:

Ain't I a Woman?: black women and feminism (1981)

Published in 1981, a her first novel.

A groundbreaking work of feminist history and theory analyzing the complex relations between various forms of oppression. Ain't I a Woman examines the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the historic devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism within the recent women's movement, and black women's involvement with feminism.

Find it here.

Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

Published in 1984, her second novel.

A sweeping examination of the core issues of sexual politics, Hooks' new book Feminist Theory: from margin to center argues that the contemporary feminist movement must establish a new direction for the 1980s. Continuing the debates surrounding her controversial first book, Hooks suggests that feminists have not succeeded in creating a mass movement against sexist oppression because the very foundation of women's liberation has, until now, not accounted for the complexity and diversity of female experience.

Find it here.

Talking Back: Thinking feminist, thinking Black

Published 1989, her third novel.

Hooks writes about the meaning of feminist consciousness in daily life and about self-recovery, about overcoming white and male supremacy, and about intimate relationships, exploring the point where the public and private meet.

Find it here.

Yearning: race, gender, and cultural politics

Published in 1990, her fourth novel.

Hook crosses disciplinary boundaries in major debates on postmodern theory, cultural criticism, and the politics of race and gender. She values postmodernism's insights while warning that the fashionable infatuation with "discourse" about "difference" is dangerously detachable from the struggle we must all wage against racism, sexism, and cultural imperialism.

Find it here.

Black Looks: Race and representation

Published in 1992, a collection of essays.

In these twelve essays, she digs ever deeper into the personal and political consequences of contemporary representations of race and ethnicity within a white supremacist culture.

Find it here.

Angela Davis is known for her writing as well as her political activism.

Here are some of her works:

If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance

Published in 1971, an autobiography.

The trial of Angela Yvonne Davis in connection with the prisoner revolt by three black prisoners on August 7, 1970 at the Marin County Courthouse will be remembered as one of America's most historic political trials, and no one can tell the story better than Miss Davis herself. This book is also perhaps the most comprehensive and thorough analysis of that increasingly important symbol — the political prisoner. Of her trial, Miss Davis writes, "I am charged with three capital offenses — murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy.

(Not available for purchase)

Angela Davis: An Autobiography, Random House

Published in 1974, an autobiography.

Her own powerful story to 1972, told with warmth, brilliance, humor & conviction. The author, a political activist, reflects upon the people & incidents that have influenced her life & commitment to global liberation of the oppressed.

Find it here.

Women, Race and Class

Published in 1981, a novel.

A powerful study of the women's movement in the U.S. from abolitionist days to the present that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.

Find it here.

Women, Culture & Politics, Vintage

Published in 1990, a collection.

A collection of her speeches and writings which address the political and social changes of the past decade as they are concerned with the struggle for racial, sexual, and economic equality.

Find it here.

Booker T. Washington was one of the last slave generations who were freed. He went on to become one of the most important leaders of African American history and founded the Tuskegee University Institute.

Here are some of his works:

The Future of the American Negro

Published in 1899, a novel.

A reprint of the original, an important political and social work. Booker sets forth his ideas regarding the history of enslaved and freed African-American people and their need for education to advance themselves. In the beginning of the book, the author mentions the term “industrial education”. Washington describes this term as meaning, learning the necessities to become a valuable member of society as well and being able to apply this knowledge to industrial business. He believed that even though slavery is illegal, the freed African-Americans are still enslaved to the white people.

Find it here.

Up from Slavery

Published in 1901, an autobiography.

Booker T. Washington, the most recognized national leader, orator and educator, emerged from slavery in the deep south, to work for the betterment of African Americans in the post Reconstruction period. "Up From Slavery" is an autobiography of Booker T. Washington's life and work, which has been the source of inspiration for all Americans. Washington reveals his inner most thoughts as he transitions from ex-slave to teacher and founder of one of the most important schools for African Americans in the south, The Tuskegee Industrial Institute.

Find it here.

Character Building

Published in 1902, a speech.

A new, beautifully laid-out collection of Booker T. Washington's classic addresses on self-improvement and character-building delivered to his students at the Tuskegee Institute. This volume is based on the edition originally published in 1902.

Find it here.

These writers have all earned their place amongst the most influential writers in the literary world. With these short bios and lists of their works, I hope to inspire you to read and learn more about them. Happy reading!


I do not own any of the book cover images, nor the pictures of the writers. They are only used for creative purposes, not for profit. Below are my sources. (for book cover images). All images of the writers themselves came from Dates accessed 9/3/20 and 9/4/20.

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