“celebration: (after reading bell hooks’ remembered rapture: the writer at work, 1999)”

I am crestfallen after receiving news of bell hooks’ passing. I reckon I will be heavy hearted for some time yet, for her critical consciousness–which she courageously and unabashedly shared w/those of us who dared to wake up to love, community, postmodern blackness, blackbell hooks & Me USF - Feb 18 2021 - 6-50 PM (1) feminism, & killing rage–is an embodiment of the critical race theory that threatens the “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy,” therefore making more possible our freedom. We still  have such a long way to go. Undoubtedly, however, bell hooks has given us our traveling shoes. 

Sigh. I have so much more to say–and eventually I will. In the meantime, however, while I gather myself, I will remember bell hooks with my 2018 “celebration” a poem Gary Lemons, hooks scholar (& friend), commissioned me to write for his 2019 Hooked on the Art of Love: bell hooks and My Calling for Soul Work. May we all celebrate bell hooks as we remember her love–thus “empowering us to live fully and die well [so] [d]eath becomes, then, not an end to life but a part of living.”




write here


claiming our space in choreographed words

patterned to move spirit

thru morning pulses & hanging fire


ego tripping

into the majesty of our oneness

our coming together in a comingtogetherness

we        real cool

phenomenal women

tall as a cypress

having found our mothers’ gardens

& taking root there

where bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored

is no more a metaphysical dilemma to be conquered / for



write here,

I say


entering our shadow self

thru words of fire

forging spiritual character

that makes complexity clear

& reality confrontable


composing under soprano skies

we breakin silence

throwin down

gettin ovah

& high steppin

into a movement in Black that promises

a second generation of courage

a people loving freedom

& a beauty full of healing


born in a bed of good lessons


write here

are the ones we have been waiting for


so you—

over there—

come here!

come fold urself in these words unfolding rapture

& be made new




  1. Thank you Kendra for this offering to bell hooks. May her works live through loved-filled actions from those who are inspired by her and her work. I look forward to your follow-up to this tribute. Be Well!

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