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Collection of Black women’s stories that show how leadership values are transmitted from mothers to daughters.
Featuring the stories of fourteen Black women scholars, Black Womanist Leadership offers a culturally based model of Black women’s leadership practices, and examines the mother-daughter transmission of these skills. The personal narratives fit into a storytelling tradition that reveals the ways Black mothers and women of the community—the Motherline—teach girls the “ways women lead.” The essays present a range of different practical and theoretical issues of leadership and development, including mother nurture, emulation of and divergence from core values, internalized oppression, self-determination, representation of the physical self, guardianship/governance of the body, cooperative economics, activism, contentiousness with or differentiation from the mother, and negotiation of leadership across public and private spheres. Together, they make a compelling argument for the necessity of continuing to teach the cultural and gender-specific resistance to oppression that has been passed along the Motherline, and to adapt this Motherline tradition to the lives and needs of women and girls in the twenty-first century.
“This book explicates the nuances of leadership for Black women in ways that are typically ignored in the general literature, and the importance of the Motherline is finally given the attention it deserves.” — Beverly Greene, Professor of Psychology at St. John’s University, and coeditor of A Minyan of Women: Family Dynamics, Jewish Identity, and Psychotherapy Practice
“This stunningly masterful volume represents a foundational text in the study of Black women’s leadership development. Its implications are far reaching, particularly as it suggests womanist (and Black feminist) thought on the Motherline as a location for theorizing gender progressive notions for leadership strategies for males who reject a patriarchal vision of men as ‘natural’ leaders.” — Gary L. Lemons, author of Black Male Outsider: Teaching as a Pro-Feminist Man
Toni C. King is Associate Professor of Black Studies and Women’s Studies at Denison University. S. Alease Ferguson is Director of Family Services for the Cleveland Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Outreach Program.
Table of Contents
Preface: Writing African American Women’s Leadership
Introduction: Looking to the Motherline
Part I. The Motherline: Roots and Significance
1. Legacies from Our Mothers Frances K. Trotman
2. Sisterlocking Power: Or How Is Leadership Supposed to Look? Valerie Lee
3. Braiding My Place: Agency and Foundational Selfhood
through Cross-Racial Mothering Nancy Gibson
Part II. The Foundations of Mother-Daughter Tutelage
4. Ìdílé: The Power of Mother in the Leadership Tradition Oare’ Dozier-Henry
5. Hard to Define Ceara Flake
6. “Don’t Waste Your Breath”: The Dialectics of Communal
Leadership Development Toni C. King
Part III. Visions of the Motherline: Templates for Daughters
7. “I Earns My Struttin’ Shoes”: Blues Women and Leadership Judy M. Dozier
8. Thelma’s Self-Sufficiency Paradigm: Every Tub Must Stand
on Its Own Bottom S. Alease Ferguson
9. I Remember Mama: The Legacy of a Drylongso
and Ajabu Leader Rhunette C. Diggs
10. “A Little Lower Than the Angels”: A Partial Legacy from
My Mother and Mom-Mom Ione Simona J. Hill
Part IV. Tensions along the Motherline: Translating Mother Templates to Daughter Actions
11. Mother’s Transformative Medicine: An Inoculation against
Intergenerational Stagnancy Sonya Turner
12. “Contending Forces” or Contrariant Strains in the Mother-Daughter Leadership Dynamic Sandra Y. Govan
13. “Like Mother, Like Daughter”: Prophetic Principles
from the Motherline—A Sermon Leah C. K. Lewis
14. Othermothers, Amazons, and Strategies for Leadership in the Public and Private Spheres Lakesia D. Johnson
Conclusions: Becoming the Motherline—Leadership
for a New Generation