The next KIT Staff member to spotlight an influential Black person to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments for Black History Month is Education & Training Specialist, Janet George, MS, CTRS.
Janet joined KIT full-time in October of 2011 after working as a contract trainer. She has more than 30 years of experience in disability inclusion with varied experience in physical rehabilitation, assisted living, and community-based nonprofit organizations, and has teaching experience at the university level. Her focus & passion has always been on access to community & inclusion.
Black History Month Spotlight:
I would like to highlight the work of bell hooks who is an accomplished educator, author, feminist, scholar, and social media publicist. hooks, born Gloria Jean Watkins, borrowed her pen name to honor her grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks. She does not capitalize her name as she wants to put focus on her ideas rather than her identity.
hooks addresses the intersectionality of race, class, and gender. I learned about hooks in graduate school when I read, “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center ” (2015), which highlights the beginning of the feminist movement and the focus on white privileged women who were gaining social equality with men in the leisure class. I was enlightened about the hierarchical structure of the movement and how the needs of non-white women, working class, and poor women were not recognized. This created a movement that rarely acknowledged or addressed needs of marginalized people.
hooks describes feminist struggle as taking place “anytime anywhere any female or male resists, sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression” (hooks, 2015, p. 10). For me, hooks offers a perspective that causes you to broaden your views and consider how race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, and other factors intersect and impact issues of racism, sexism, and forms of oppression; she advocates for a more holistic way of understanding oppression. This interview (1995) shares her views on patriarchy, white supremacy, and racism.
This is a more current interview of hooks with author and UC Berkely law professor, john a. powell (2015) which is a dialogue about “Belonging Through Connection, Connecting Through Love: Oneself, the Other, and the Earth.”
Here’s more information if you’d like to learn more or follow hooks on social media: