Notable Figures: bell hooks and John Horse

Hello CityHawks! February marks Black History Month, and during this time, we are paying tribute to both historical and contemporary Black trailblazers. This week, we delved into the stories of...

"The process begins with the individual woman’s acceptance that American women, without exception, are socialized to be racist, classist and sexist, in varying degrees, and that labeling ourselves feminists does not change the fact that we must consciously work to rid ourselves of the legacy of negative socialization." ― bell hooks, "Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism"

bell hooks, born Gloria Jean Watkins before deciding to use a pseudonym, was known for her books on feminism, racism, and love. By the time she passed away at age 69, hooks had published over 30 literary pieces. She received her BA, MA, and Doctorate in English. While continuing her career as an author, bell hooks taught English, ethnic studies, women’s studies, and Afro and Afro-American studies at four different universities. 

Born in Florida in 1812, John Horse was Seminole slave of African, Spanish, and American Indian descent. He served as a decorated and well-respected war chief and officer, fighting against the United States in the Second Seminole War (1835-42). He later joined forces with the U.S Army after being captured and served as an interpreter. Horse helped negotiate the surrender of 500 Native Americans in 1838, led the largest mass slave escape in U.S. history from Oklahoma to Mexico, and secured the communal title of the land grant in Mexico for Black Seminoles.