Black Women as Leaders

Challenging and Transforming Society

by Lori Latrice Martin


Black women have been instrumental in transforming society by mobilizing people to address persistent inequality and combat racial stereotypes.

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Cover image for Black Women as Leaders

March 2019


Pages 183
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies
  Current Events and Issues/Gender

This book examines how black women have identified challenges in major social institutions across history and demonstrated adaptive leadership in mobilizing people to tackle those challenges facing black communities.

Most studies about black women and social justice issues focus on the responses of black women to racism within the context of the feminist movement and/or the responses of black women to sexism in black liberation movements. Such discussions often fail to explore the ways in which black women's commitment to negotiating their racial, gender, and class identities, while engaged in the practice of leadership, is discouraged and ignored.

Black Women as Leaders analyzes the commitment of contemporary black women to social justice issues from the perspective of adaptive leadership. It shows how black women are often forced into the public practice of leadership due to violent attacks from people with whom they are in engaged in interpersonal relationships. The book also breaks new ground by revealing how black women suffer from the devaluation and vilification of their engagement in the practice of leadership in private settings, such as their homes and selected religious and institutional settings.


  • Connects ideas on adaptive leadership with material on race, class, and gender
  • Recognizes black women as actively engaged in the practice of leadership as opposed to passively involved in largely supportive and/or subordinate roles
  • Simultaneously explores a host of important contemporary issues and the significant impact of black women on and their ability to tackle each issue
  • Provides recommendations for increasing the number of black women prepared to face oppression on multiple fronts
Author Info

Lori Latrice Martin, PhD, is professor of sociology and African and African American studies at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. She is author of Big Box Schools, Black Asset Poverty and the Enduring Racial Divide, and White Sports/Black Sports. She is also coauthor of South Baton Rouge and Pay to Play.

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Lessons from the Black Working Class cover imageColor Stories cover imageAfrican American Women's Life Issues Today cover image

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