Feminist author to speak in Columbia

Often-published author bell hooks is to address both Columbia children and adults.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:49 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

Meredith Peebles, a senior at MU, appreciates the irony in the reason bell hooks doesn’t capitalize her name.

“I’ve heard she wants people to listen to her message and not pay attention to the name on the work,” Peebles said. “Despite this, her name has become iconic. That is what has happened for me, anyway.”

Peebles, who works in the MU Women’s Center, said she realizes many people have never heard of hooks and hopes her visit and events Wednesday will make her a more familiar name in Columbia — where hooks spent some time when she attended Columbia Christian College, now Stephens College.

Widely known in academic circles as a feminist thinker, hooks is also recognized for her theories on race, education and the media. She has written more than 20 books, many articles and essays and, lately, has been writing children’s books, several of which she will read at the Columbia Public Library on Wednesday.

Beth Pickens, who works at the MU Women’s Center, started the process of getting hooks to Columbia last summer by writing a letter to her publisher. With hooks’ agreement and fund-raising within MU and the community, Pickens said the MU Women’s History Month Planning Committee was able to provide the campus with a speaker who has a tremendous impact on people through her powerful speech.

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