Healing Circles as Black Feminist Pedagogical Interventions

  • Jennifer L. Richardson


Richardson offers a theoretical paradigm shift in thinking about Black feminist praxis and pedagogy. This chapter explores ways Black feminist pedagogy reimagines the classroom and the work scholars can do with students. While the Black feminist tradition has historically included self-care, particularly in understandings of the erotic (Sister outsider, The Crossing Press, 1984), much has been lost in translation on the ground, in the classroom, in our research, and within the Academy (But what do we think we’re doing anyway: The state of black feminist criticism(s) or my version of a little bit of history. In Changing our own words: Essays on criticism, theory, and writing by black women, Rutgers University Press, 1989). The radical Black feminist tradition can guide us toward pedagogies that lead to transformative learning, and allow us simultaneously to transformative justice when we keep radical self-care and healing central in the classroom.


  1. Akbar, N. (1984). Chains and images of psychological slavery. New Jersey: New Mind Productions.Google Scholar
  2. Ani, M. (2000). Yurugu: An African-Centered critique of European cultural thought and behavior. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bambara, T. C. (1970). The black woman. New York: Washington Square Press.Google Scholar
  4. Camus, A. (1937). L’Envers et l’endroit (betwixt and between). Algiers, Algeria: Edmond Charlot.Google Scholar
  5. Christian, B. (1989). But what do we think we’re doing anyway: The state of black feminist criticism(s) or my version of a little bit of history. In C. Wall (Ed.), Changing our own words: Essays on criticism, theory, and writing by black women (pp. 58–74). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Christian, B. (1994). Diminishing returns: Can black feminism(s) survive the academy? In D. T. Goldberg (Ed.), Multiculturalism: A critical reader (pp. 168–177). Boston, MA: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Collins, P. H. (1989). The social construction of black feminist thought. Signs, 14(8), 745–774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Collins, P. H. (1991). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Collins, P. H. (1998). Fighting words: Black women and the search for justice. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  10. Collins, P. H. (2005). Black sexual politics: African Americans, gender, and the new racism. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Diouf, S. (1998). Servants of Allah: African Muslims enslaved in the Americas. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Downing, J., & Husband, C. (2005). Representing “race”: Racisms, ethnicity and the media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. DuBois, W. E. B. (1903). The souls of black folks. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Fernandez, L. (2003). Transforming feminist practice: Non-violence, social justice and the possibilities of a spiritualized feminism. San Francisco: Aunt Lute.Google Scholar
  15. Floyd, S. A., Jr. (2002). Ring shout! Literary studies, historical studies, and black music inquiry. Black Music Research Journal, 22, 49–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gabriel, J. (1998). Whitewash: Racialized politics and the media. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Guthrie, R. V. (1976). Even the rat was white. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  18. Guy-Sheftall, B. (1990). Daughters of sorrow: Attitudes toward black women, 1880–1920. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Pub.Google Scholar
  19. Guy-Sheftall, B. (1995). Words of fire, an anthology of African American feminist thought. New York: New Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hall, S. (1990). The whites of their eyes: Racist ideologies and the media. In M. Alvarado & J. O. Thompson (Eds.), The media reader (pp. 7–23). London: BFI Publishing.Google Scholar
  21. Hall, S. (Ed.). (1997). Representations: Cultural representations and signifying practices. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publication.Google Scholar
  22. Harris-Perry, M. V. (2012). Sister citizen: Shame, stereotypes, and black women in America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Hill, M. L. (2009). Wounded healing: Forming a storytelling community in hip-hop lit. Teachers College Record, 111(1), 248–293.Google Scholar
  24. Hilliard, T. O. (1978). Psychology, law, and the black community. Law and Human Behavior, 2(2), 107–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hong, G. K. (2008). The future of our worlds: Black feminism and the politics of knowledge in the university under globalization. Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 8(2), 95–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. hooks, b. (1981). Ain’t i a woman: Black women and feminism. Boston, MA: South End Press.Google Scholar
  27. hooks, b. (1990). Yearning: Race, gender, and cultural politics. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  28. hooks, b. (1992). Black looks: Race and representation. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  29. hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. hooks, b. (1996). Reel to real: Race, sex, and class at the movies. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. hooks, b. (2000). Feminist theory: From margin to center. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.Google Scholar
  32. hooks, b. (2003). Rock my soul: Black people and self-esteem. New York: Atria Books.Google Scholar
  33. hooks, b. (2005). Sisters of the yam: Black women and self-recovery. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  34. Jenkins, T. (2009). A seat at the table that i set: Beyond social justice allies. About Campus, 14(5), 27–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jones, E. (1974). Social class and psychotherapy: A critical review of research. Psychiatry, 37, 307–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jordan, J. (1985). Living room. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press.Google Scholar
  37. Leary, J. D. (2005). Post traumatic slave syndrome: America’s legacy of enduring injury and healing. Milwaukee, WI: Uptone Press.Google Scholar
  38. Lorde, A. (1976). Between our selves. Crested Butte, CO: Eidolon.Google Scholar
  39. Lorde, A. (1984). Sister outsider. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press.Google Scholar
  40. Marable, M. (1996). Speaking truth to power: Essays on race, resistance, and radicalism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  41. Morgan, J. (2015). Why we get off: Moving towards a black feminist politics of pleasure. The Black Scholar, 45(4), 36–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Quashie, K. (2003). Black women, identity and cultural theory. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Richardson, J. (2012). Image slavery and mass media pollution: Examining the sociopolitical context of beauty and self image in the lives of black women (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest (201415958).Google Scholar
  44. Richardson-Stovall, J. (2012). Image slavery and mass media pollution: Popular media, beauty, and the lives of black women. Berkeley Journal of Sociology: A Critical Review, 56, 73–100.Google Scholar
  45. Stuckey, S. (1987). Slave culture: Nationalist theory and the foundations of black America. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Winn, M. T. (2010). ‘Betwixt and between’: Literacy, liminality, and the celling of Black girls. Race Ethnicity and Education, 13(4), 425–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer L. Richardson
    • 1
  1. 1.Gender and Women’s StudiesWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

Personalised recommendations