Afrikan Mothers

Bearers of Culture, Makers of Social Change

By Nah Dove

Subjects: Women's Studies
Paperback : 9780791438824, 280 pages, July 1998
Hardcover : 9780791438817, 280 pages, July 1998

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Table of contents



1 Methods of Research

Conceptual Framework


Rationale and Method

Evaluating My Respect for My Sisters

My Credibility as a Researcher and a Sister

2 A Context for the U. K. Herstories

Race and Immigration Policy

Coming Home to Roost

Knowing Our Rightful Place in Britain's Schools

"Special" Immigrant Education


3 The Herstories of Afrikan Mothers in the United Kingdom

Mothers Who Send Their Children to the Marcus Garvey School

Nzinga ("She is beauty and courage")

Adoaha ("Daughter of the people")

Diallo ("Bold")

Kesi ("Born when father had difficulties")

Mothers Who Send Their Children to the Queen Nzinga School

Abebe ("We asked and got her'')

Amal ("Hopes")

Enomwoyi ("One who has grace")

Fujo ("She brings wholeness'')

4 A Context for the U. S. Herstories

Schooling as a Mode of Oppression

5 The Herstories of Afrikan Mothers in the United States

Mothers Who Send Their Children to the Sankofa School

Camara ("One who teaches from experience")

Ayoluwa ("Joy of our people")

Kumiwa ("Brave")

Binta ("Beautiful daughter")

Ezigbo ("Beloved")

Dalmar ("Versatile")

Ife ("Love of art and culture")

Aisha ("Life")

Aidoo ("Arrived")

6 Herstories of Mothers Who Do Not Send Their Children to Sankofa School

Jaha ("Dignity'')

Adaeze ("Princess")

Nalo ("Much loved")

Mawasi ("In God's hands")

7 An Analysis of the Mother's Experiences

The Afrikan Family: The Site of Oppression and Resistance

Single Parenting

Single Parenting and Schooling the Children

Male and Female Roles in the Family

Problematic Family Relationships

Mother and Son Relationships

Cultural Conflicts

Mothers and Schooling

U. S. Mothers

U. K. Mothers

Reasons for Sending the Children to Culturally Affirming Schools

Racism and Schooling the Children

Consciousness-Raising Influences

Culturally Affirmative Schools as Opposed to Black Schools

Reasons for Not Sending Children to the Sankofa School (U. S.)

8 Afrikan Intellectualism as a Basis for Institution Building

Division as a Method of Conquest

The Afrikan Intellectual in Crisis

Intellectualism as a Level of Consciousness

Afrikan Allegiance






Tells the story of some Afrikan mothers who, under European domination with the United States and the United Kingdom, have struggled to survive and maintain their (and their children's) cultural identities within European-oriented societies.


This book highlights the integrity of some Afrikan mothers who, under European domination within the United States and the United Kingdom, have used their own experience as a foundation for understanding the impact of cultural imposition on their children's lives. Most of these mothers have chosen to place their children in school environments that will educate their children about their culutral roots, in order that their cultural memory and knowledge of Afrikan people will be handed down intergenerationally. This book looks sensitively at the herstories of women who are undergoing their own process of transformation and offers insights into the historical and continuing struggle of Afrikan people as a cultural entity living within European-oriented societies.

Nah Dove is Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo.


"Afrikan Mothers provides a unique and powerful account of Afrikan women's attempts to challenge and resist contemporary conditions, particularly in relation to racism, schooling, and education. Nah Dove's book, which focuses on Afrikan women both in the United Kingdom and the United States, enriches us with its blend of empirical 'rich descriptiveness' and subtle theorizing. A vital book for readers and students of Afrikan studies, women's studies, cultural studies, education, Afrikan American studies, and sociology. " — Cecile Wright, The Nottingham Trent University

"A special 'Dobale' for Afrikan Mothers and for Nah Dove! Nah Dove's text is tender, full of grace, and gentle even as she weaves a powerful and mighty pen in a solid cultural analysis, Afrikan Centered perspective, and in depth research. Dr. Dove's commitment to the struggle is evident in her loving description of the women that she profiles and her respectful discussion of their lives and choices for their children. Dr. Dove speaks as an Afrikan mother, activist, and scholar and this combination infuses her work with humility and conviction. Nah Dove is to be commended for this gift to all 'bearers of cultures. ' Her wisdom makes her one of 'the women who gather at the grindstones. '" — Kariamu Welsh Asante, Temple University