This work locates within Black feminist traditions a methodology and praxis that effectively engages Black women on the issues surrounding media impact. In the tradition of African Ring Shouts, healing circles provide Black women with the freedom to feel, think, reflect, exercise self-care, and strengthen social and emotional bonds. Far beyond a simply utilitarian purpose of collecting data for this study, healing circles create spaces for Black women to address the impact that symbolic forms of media violence have on their humanity and political voice. In this work, healing is a political path of resistance, a radical spiritual project that constitutes a step in the recovery of self by not only defying the assaults of the dominant culture but also constructing an alternative reality grounded in a discourse of counter-hegemonic knowledge. The power in healing as praxis is a methodology that radical feminist scholars across disciplines can employ to access and produce knowledge.
The Other Side of Change: Black Feminist Methodologies Toward Healing
Dr. Jennifer Richardson is Assistant Professor of African American and African Studies, and formally Gender and Women’s Studies, at Western Michigan University. As a Black feminist sociologist, her scholarship investigates intergenerational healing circles, in the tradition of African Ring Shouts, as methodological and pedagogical approaches. Dr. Richardson’s work focuses on bringing attention to Africana women’s collective healing as a sociopolitical path to the recovery of self; and the multidimensional ways Africana women negotiate the intersections of popular media, hegemonic discourses of beauty, and constructions of identity. Bringing forth the centering of Black women’s voices, Dr. Richardson’s most recent and forthcoming scholarship focuses on Black women faculty in higher education.
Jennifer L. Richardson; The Other Side of Change: Black Feminist Methodologies Toward Healing. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 June 2023; 12 (2): 5–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2023.12.2.5
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