Black Womanist Leadership: Tracing the Motherline

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Denison University presents Black Womanist Leadership: Tracing the Motherline by Toni C. King

Featuring the stories of fourteen Black women scholars, Black Womanist Leadership: Tracing the Motherline 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 21st century.