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BOMB THE ROOT: The bell hooks Interview

In this 1994 interview from the BOMB Digital Archive, feminist scholar bell hooks talks about Snoop and her own violent impulses and why she’d gladly face humiliation on the Ricki Lake show.

bell hooks. Photo by James Keyser© 1994.

While we were sifting through 28 years of BOMB interviews, we found a spate of interviews with African-American artists and thinkers conducted in the early to mid-1990s. Published in the wake of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, the Rodney King beating trial and subsequent L.A. riots, and just prior to the O.J. Simpson trial, the interviews offer us invaluable insight into what was a period of enormous racial tension and cultural upheaval.

In this 1994 interview published shortly before the debut of her book Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, the always soft-spoken but never complaisant feminist scholar bell hooks discusses rap, racism and language, and her belief that academics should break away from the ivory tower and interact directly with the general public. Hooks speaks candidly about the travails of putting her outlaw theory into practice, saying that she would rather subject herself to humiliation on the Ricki Lake show than reverence at Harvard or Yale.

--Adda Birnir