Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-18-2022


In honor of bell hooks’ legacy, we engage with her Black feminist scholarship to parse out what she offers to the study of Black politics. We explore the ways hooks rebuffed compulsory calls for niceness and obligatory congeniality via respectability politics. By interrogating the politics of the Black middle class, we locate hooks’ intellectual works as a repudiation of a “politics of niceness” that seeks to maintain the violent status quo of white capitalist heteropatriarchy. We then draw out why the rejection of a politics of niceness matters within broader discussions of race, power, politics, and oppression.





This work was originally published in Journal of Women, Politics & Policy.



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