Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Elizabeth Steeby

Second Advisor

Dr. Doreen Piano

Third Advisor

Dr. Earle Bryant


In this paper, Kait Spong examines alternative practices of mothering that are strategic nature, heavily analyzing Patricia Hill Collins’ concepts of “othermothering” and “preservative love” as applied to Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel, Beloved and Harriet Jacob’s 1861 slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Using literary analysis as a vehicle, Spong then applies these West African notions of motherhood to a modern context by evaluating contemporary social movements such as Black Lives Matter where black mothers have played a prominent role in making public statements against systemic issues such as police brutality, heightened surveillance, and the prison industrial complex.


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