Author and social activist bell hooks wrote 40 books on race, feminism and class. In 1992 she published an essay called The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators (full text here, taken from the book Black Looks: Race and Representation by bell hooks). In this essay she detailed the history of racial oppression where enslaved people were deprived of the right to look. She applies this to film theory and constructs the concept of an “oppositional gaze” – one where black people disrupt the power dynamic of most cinema that others blackness. The oppositional gaze seeks to create representations of blackness in independent cinema and other media. hooks’ work applies this with reference to black women. The essay works as a criticism of the male gaze and also the inherent whiteness assumed in film theories relating to the female gaze.
Author bell hooks wrote an essay called The Oppositional Gaze which discusses the black female gaze and looking as a way of taking back power.