Black womanhood (black female identity) and morality (ethical logic and moral reasoning) are concepts constructed by cultural and religious ideologies. Ideologies are ideas that shape and form our world, or reality as we know it. However, ideas about black women, who they are, their motivations, their moral choices are often misconstrued by Western society. Instead, a caricature, one that is often unrecognizable to black women themselves, is presented as the reality of black womanhood. black women’s sociohistorical status and moral situation in the West has often left them silenced, erased and oppressed such that their voices and choices are obscured, misunderstood as a lack of morality. Black women, however, demonstrate a great deal of moral agency in the ways they navigate the tripartite oppressions of race, gender and class. This class will offer insight into the particularities of black women’s historical and contemporary moral situation, as well as offer an introduction into the sources, methodologies and teloi of womanist Ethics as a practice of survival. 

Course Objectives:

  • By the completion of the course,students will be able to analyze religion in the world with respect to global diversity and/or the interdependence of religion and other aspects of culture. 

  • To be able to articulate the socio-religious construction of black women

  • To be able to describe the Christian tradition’s contribution to the stifling  and misinterpretation of black women’s moral agency

  • To identify and explain basic womanist ethical frameworks and the strategies black women employ to survive the tyrannical systems of oppression in America and worldwide

  • To be able to identify and extract womanist ethical knowledge from alternative sources i.e. fiction, film, popular culture and other forms of cultural expression.

  • To analyze the role of social location and power in the production of ideas, theories, and representations (including our own)

  • to craft working definitions  of solidarity relevant to the socio-religious status of black women in America