Womanism and Black Feminism in the Work of Carrie Mae Weems


  • Christiane Stephens University of Redlands (EdD)




Social justice, womanism, liberation


This article examines the liberatory aspects of Womanisn and Black Feminism in the work of artist Carrie Mae Weems.  Weems, artist and anthropologist creates artwork that highlights the issues of oppression and giving voice to worldwide issues.  Under the theoretical lens of Womanism, the article utilizes  Arts- Based -Educational Research (ABER), a non traidtional methodology, which aligns with Womanism to provide into past and present issues of liberation and equity. Womanism, Black women’s feminism, and ABER have the potential to bring issues of equity and social justice out of the academies and into the everyday world for those most in need of liberation.

Author Biography

  • Christiane Stephens, University of Redlands (EdD)
    I have an EdD from the University of Redlands where I have also been an adjunct professor.



Barone, T., & Eisner, E. W. (1997). Arts-based educational research. In R. M. Jaeger (Ed.), Complementary methods for research in education (2nd ed., pp. 73-98). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Barone, T., & Eisner, E. W. (2012). Arts-based research. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Clover, D. E. (2006). Cultural and anti-racisms adult education: An exploration of the contributions of arts-based learning. Adult Education Quarterly, 51(1), 46-61.

Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Dillard, C. B. (2002). Walking ourselves back home: The education of teachers with/in the world. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(5), 383-392.

Farrell, L. A., & Weems, C. M. (with Willis, D.). (2009). Constructing history: A requiem to mark the moment [Art catalogue]. Savannah, GA: Savannah College of Art and Design.

Giddings, P. (2008). Ida: A sword among lions. Ida B. Wells and the campaign against lynching. New York, NY: Amistad.

hooks, b. (1984). Feminist theory: From margin to center. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York, NY: Routledge.

hooks, b. (1995). Art on my mind: Visual politics. New York, NY: The New Press.

hooks, b. (1996). Killing rage, ending racism. New York, NY: Routledge Henry Holt & Company.

McInnes, M. D. (1999). Telling histories: Installations by Carrie Mae Weems and Ellen Rothenberg. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

McNiff, S. (2008). Art-based research. In G. J. Knowles & A. L. Cole (Eds.), Handbook of the arts in qualitative inquiry: Perspectives, methodologies, examples, and issue (pp. 29-40). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Patterson, V. (2000). The Hampton project. Williamstown, MA: Aperture.

Phillips, L. (Ed.). (2006). The womanist reader: The first quarter century of womanist thought. New York, NY: Routledge.

Sheared, V. (1994). Giving voice: An inclusive model of instruction—a womanist perspective. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 27-37. doi:10.1002/ace.36719946105

Wynter, S. (1990-1992). Do not call us Negroes: How multicultural textbooks perpetuate racism. San Francisco, CA: Aspire.


Figure 1. Plate 9 in Ritual & Revolution, by Carrie Mae Weems, 2003 1

Figure 2. (Image 1) in From Here I Saw What Happened . . . And I Cried, by Carrie Mae

Weems, 1995-1996 9

Figure 3. House, Field, Yard, Kitchen in From Here I Saw What Happened . . . And I

Cried, by Carrie Mae Weems, 1995-1996 11

Figure 4. (Image 1) in The Hampton Project, by Carrie Mae Weems, 2000 12

Figure 5. (Image 2) in The Hampton Project, by Carrie Mae Weems, 1998 14

Figure 6. Slave Coast in Ritual & Revolution, by Carrie Mae Weems, 1993 17

Figure 7. Plate 15 in Ritual & Revolution, by Carrie Mae Weems, 2003







Similar Articles

1-10 of 239

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.