What Influenced Her Work?

Decent Essays
What influenced her work? The first experience that shaped Collins’ scholarship occurred during her time instituting a new curriculum at St. Joseph Community School, an educational center for underprivileged children of color, which sought to engage young students in thinking critically about power systems and intellectual activism. At this stage in her career, she focused on developing curriculum and teaching herself new information to fill in gaps in her knowledge in order to provide historical and social frameworks for the lessons she taught her students. This experience “shaped the thematic approaches and theoretical perspectives” of her scholarship. Collins’ experiences teaching were fundamental to the development of her ideology. She began teaching undergrad African-American studies courses when the field was still relatively new to academia and was therefore seen as invalid. Her goal was to teach social justice to her classes full of Black students, primarily women, “finding a way to speak to them and not just about them.” Teaching Black studies challenged Collins to find new ways to get through to students and answer questions which constructed the process of writing Black Feminist Thought. The material she wrote was then used to teach a course on contemporary Black women. After this, Collins discovered two questions that would provide guidance for her scholarship in the decades to come: “what accounts for social justice?” and “what can we do to foster social
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