Abstract

This article examines the ways in which black feminism—as a concept, an applied theory, and a safety net—functions as a critical social theory designed to assist students in understanding the multiple ways that black and brown women are marginalized through institutionalized structures and practices. Drawing heavily upon the work of Patricia Hill Collins, this article defines and explains black feminist critical pedagogy arguing that it is a critical knowledge project that generates knowledge and creates theories that allow for analysis, critique, and evaluation of how black women are situated as social agents in society. Using the pocket diaries of Emilie Frances Davis, a 19th century freeborn woman, as both a teaching tool and a forensic historical investigatory tool, students will examine the ideas of black feminism and actively apply it as a lens to interpret essays, articles, video clips, and music lyrics. The lesson plan is also designed to provide students with foundational exposure and meaning making experiences in black feminist thought as research tool and as a system of thought for reading and interpreting texts and the social world. Additionally, this essay includes a second lesson plan developed by Karsonya Wise Whitehead (the author of Notes from a Colored Girl) that builds upon the author’s work to apply a black feminist lens to the work of Emilie Frances Davis.

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