1st Edition

The Womanist Reader The First Quarter Century of Womanist Thought

By Layli Phillips Copyright 2007
    494 Pages
    by Routledge

    494 Pages
    by Routledge

    Comprehensive in its coverage, The Womanist Reader is the first volume to anthologize the major works of womanist scholarship. Charting the course of womanist theory from its genesis as Alice Walker’s African-American feminism, through Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi’s African womanism and Clenora Hudson-Weems’ Africana womanism, to its present-day expression as a global, anti-oppressionist perspective rooted in the praxis of everyday women of color, this interdisciplinary reader traces the rich and diverse history of a quarter century of womanist thought. Featuring selections from over a dozen disciplines by top womanist scholars from around the world, plus several critiques of womanism, an extensive bibliography of womanist sources, and the first ever systematic treatment of womanist thought on its own terms, Layli Phillips has assembled a unique and groundbreaking compilation.


    Table of Contents


    Copyright Information



    Womanism: On Its Own, by Layli Phillips

    Part 1 – Birthplaces, Birthmothers: Womanist Origins

    Alice Walker’s Womanism

    Coming Apart (1979), by Alice Walker

    Gifts of Power: The Writings of Rebecca Jackson (1981), by Alice Walker

    From In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983), by Alice Walker

    Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi’s African Womanism

    Womanism: The Dynamics of the Contemporary Black Female Novel in English (1985), by Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi

    Clenora Hudson-Weems’s Africana Womanism

    Cultural and Agenda Conflicts in Academia: Critical Issues in Africana Women’s Studies (1989), by Clenora Hudson-Weems

    Africana Womanism (1993), by Clenora Hudson-Weems

    Part 2 – Womanist Kinfolk: Sisters, Brothers, Daughters, and Sons on Womanism

    Sisters and Brothers: Black Feminists on Womanism

    What’s in a Name? Womanism, Black Feminism, and Beyond (1996), by Patricia Hill Collins

    A Black Man’s Place in Black Feminist Criticism (1998), by Michael Awkward

    Daughters and Sons: The Birth of Womanist Identity

    Who’s Schooling Who? Black Women and the Bringing of the Everyday into Academe, or, Why We Started the Womanist (1995), by Layli Phillips & Barbara McCaskill

    To Be Black, Male, and "Feminist": Making Womanist Space for Black Men (1997), by Gary L. Lemons

    Part 3 – Womanist Theory & Praxis: Womanism in the Disciplines

    Literature & Literary Criticism

    Some Implications of Womanist Theory (1986), by Sherley Anne Williams

    A Womanist Production of Truths: The Use of Myths in Amy Tan (1995), by Wenying Xu


    Womanist Theology: Black Women’s Voices (1987), by Delores S. Williams

    Christian Ethics and Theology in Womanist Perspective (1989), by Cheryl J. Sanders, Katie G. Cannon, Emilie M. Townes, Shawn M. Copeland, bell hooks, and Cheryl Townsend Gilkes


    Womanist Consciousness: Maggie Lena Walker and the Independent Order of St. Luke (1989), by Elsa Barkley Brown

    Theatre & Film Studies

    Dialogic Modes of Representing Africa(s): Womanist Film (1991), by Mark A. Reid

    Communication & Media Studies

    A Womanist Looks at the Million Man March (1996), by Geneva Smitherman

    Assessing Womanist Thought: The Rhetoric of Susan L. Taylor (2000), by Janice D. Hamlet


    Womanist Archetypal Psychology: A Model of Counseling Black Women and Couples Based on Yoruba Mythology (2005), by Kim Váz


    Portraits of Mujeres Desjuiciadas: Womanist Pedagogies of the Everyday, the Mundane, and the Ordinary (2001), by Ruth Trinidad Galván


    Giving Voice: An Inclusive Model of Instruction – A Womanist Perspective (1994), by Vanessa Sheared

    A Womanist Experience of Caring: Understanding the Pegagogy of Exemplary Black Women Teachers (2002), by Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant

    Social Work

    Elizabeth Ross Haynes: An African American Reformer of Consciousness, 1908-1940 (1997), by Iris Carlton-LaNey

    Nursing Science

    Womanist Ways of Knowing: Theoretical Considerations for Research with African American Women (2000), by JoAnne Banks-Wallace

    Sexuality Studies

    Kuaering Queer Theory: My Autocritography and a Race-Conscious, Womanist, Transnational Turn (2003), by Wenshu Lee

    Architecture/Urban Studies

    Critical Spatial Literacy: A Womanist Positionality and the Spatio-temporal Construction of Black Family Life (2004), by Epifania Akosua Amoo-Adare

    Part 4 – Critiquing the Womanist Idea

    The Language of Womanism: Rethinking Difference (1997), by Helen (charles)

    Warrior Marks: Global Womanism’s Neo-colonial Discourse in a Multicultural Context (2001), by Inderpal Grewal & Caren Kaplan

    Part 5 – Womanist Resources

    A Womanist Bibliography (including Internet resources)



    Layli Phillips is Associate Professor of Women's Studies and an associate faculty member of the department of African-American Studies at Georgia State University. This is her first book.

    "Long overdue, Layli Phillips' The Womanist Reader is a pioneering text that illuminates the genealogy of womanism and its complex meanings. Phillips' articulation of its connections with and departures from both ‘feminism’ and ‘black feminism’ is cogent and provocative.  This anthology lays the groundwork for future scholarship on this little understood analytic construct, but critically important intervention in the broad project of social justice."
    —Beverly Guy-Sheftall, editor of Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought and Director of the Women's Center, Spelman College

    "Bringing together many groundbreaking articulations of womanist thought, Layli Philips has assembled a superb collection. The Womanist Reader is essential reading for womanists, feminists, activists, and scholars in many disciplines, including women’s studies, Africana studies, African-American Studies, ethnic studies, and American Studies."
     —AnaLouise Keating, coeditor of this bridge we call home and Professor of Women’s Studies, Texas Woman's University

    "This important reader is a theoretical and methodological breakthrough in our understanding of womanist scholarship from a wide array of disciplines. This is essential reading that highlights the contributions of womanism to gender theory and praxis."

    —Filomina Steady, editor of The Black Woman Cross-Culturally and Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, Wellesley College

    "Layli Phillips' comprehensive anthology is a much-needed reader for today and for generations to come.  The Womanist Reader chronicles twenty-five years of juxtapositioned insights and empowering revelations by womanists across the disciplines."

    —Katie G. Cannon, author of Katie's Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community