Gloria Jean Hooks, whose real name is Gloria Jean Watkins, was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, on Sept. 25, 1952. In 1978, she had her first piece published, a book of poems titled “And There We Wept.”. She then continued to publish her first book, “Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism”, in 1981.
The pen name “bell hooks”[sic] is based on her great-grandmother Bell Blair Hooks.