Africana Womanism: Africana-Melanated Womanism (online)

English 4420/7420
Clenora Hudson-Weems
Course Description

(Cross listed with Black Studies 4420.) Africana Womanism is an undergraduate and graduate course specifically designed to broaden one's scope from a family-centered perspective in the area of issues, recurring themes and/or trends in modern Africana women fiction, highlighting its applicability to our everyday lives worldwide.  An in depth study of the lives and selected works by five (5) leading Africana women writers—Noted Pre-Africana Womanist, Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God); Senegalese novelist, Mariama Ba (So Long a Letter—currently out of print) or African American/Caribbean Novelist, Paule Marshall (Praisesong for the Widow); Nobel Prize Winning author, Toni Morrison (Beloved); Popular Cultural Novelist, Terry McMillan (Disappearing Acts); and Former Rap Star Artist, Sister Souljah (No Disrespect)--will be enhanced by critical readings of two (2) books from the Africana Womanism Trilogy, as well as scholarly articles by and about the various authors.  Methodologically,  we will be highlighting the prioritization of Race, Class & Gender, a key feature in this powerful paradigm, committed to the empowerment and equality of all, rather than a gender exclusive agenda (female-centered, female-empowerment) so characteristic of other female based constructs.   Students will be introduced to an authentic theoretical concept and methodology, Africana Womanism, and will be applying Africana Womanist theory to these Africana womanist novels, which clearly reflect our daily lives throughout the world.

Meshed together, the primary and secondary reading materials, as well as other media materials, will aid students in refining their own individual concepts about not only the writings of the individual authors, but about critical current issues, particularly as they relate to Africana women and their families and communities. The ultimate objective of the course, then, is to enhance one's knowledge and appreciation of Africana women and their interconnection with their families (men and children) in particular and Africana life and culture (historically and currently) in general.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to yet another theoretical construct, in addition to the widely known female-based theory—Feminism,” which is referenced in the Africana Womanism books.   Africana Womanism is an authentic paradigm designed specifically for all women of African descent, and by extension for all men and women in general.