“In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens”: Interrogating and Expanding Black Feminist Identities Through Africana Studies

Kenan Kerr, Language Arts, Whitewater Middle     

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This curriculum unit will provide middle school students with an introduction to feminist theory, with a focus on global feminism as embodied by African women. Students will consider each feminist issue through a literary or documentary touchstone, asking themselves and each other: “How is the personal political?” These academic inquiries will inspire self-reflection on identity, gender, and culture. In the words of Alice Walker, “In search of [their mothers’] gardens,” students will begin to develop and critique their own identities as feminists. To execute this unit thoughtfully, teachers should have at least a cursory background in women’s and gender studies. Teachers should also be culturally proficient, to the degree that they are comfortable teaching about and discussing race, sex, and gender with diverse young adults. Though it is highly adaptable, this curriculum is designed for use in an elective or enrichment course.