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Building Womanist CoalitionsWriting and Teaching in the Spirit of Love$
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Gary L. Lemons

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042423

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042423.001.0001

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Professing the Liberatory Power of Womanism

Professing the Liberatory Power of Womanism

(p.53) 3 Professing the Liberatory Power of Womanism
Building Womanist Coalitions

Gary L. Lemons

University of Illinois Press

Narrating his journey toward becoming a black male professor of feminism, in this chapter the author identifies himself as a “black male outsider.” He writes about how his study writings by black/feminists of color helped him to accept his difference as a male who grew up on the margins of the “black community” in which he lived. Not only does he credit Alice Walker’s idea of womanism as personally and politically self-transformative for him, he also acknowledges bell hooks’s belief that men can be feminist comrades. In the chapter, he focuses on experiences teaching course-work on “writings by radical black/women of color” in departments of English and women’s studies at the university where he teaches. He employs autocritography as a genre that interweaves memoir with social criticism to express his commitment to the practice of womanist pedagogy.

Keywords:   womanism, black male outsider, self-transformation, women’s studies, autocritography, pedagogy

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