Lavender Fields

Black Women Experiencing Fear, Agency, and Hope in the Time of COVID-19

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Lavender Fields uses autoethnography to explore how Black girls and women are living with and through COVID-19. It centers their pain, joys, and imaginations for a more just future as we confront all the inequalities that COVID-19 exposes.

Black women and girls in the United States are among the hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of illnesses, deaths, evictions, and increasing economic inequality. Riffing off Alice Walker’s telling of her search for Zora Neal Hurston, the authors of these essays and reflections offer raw tellings of Black girls’ and women’s experiences written in real time, as some of the contributors battled COVID-19 themselves.

The essays center Black girls and women and their testimonies in hopes of moving them from the margin to the center. With a diversity of voices and ages, this volume taps into the Black feminine interior, that place where Audre Lorde tells us that feelings lie, to access knowledge—generational, past, and contemporary—to explore how Black women navigate COVID-19. Using womanism and spirituality, among other modalities, the authors explore deep feelings, advancing Black feminist theorizing on Black feminist praxis and methodology.

In centering the stories of Black girls and women’s experiences with COVID-19, this work brings much-needed justice and equity to conversations about the pandemic. Just as Walker worked diligently to find Hurston, Lavender Fields attempts to “find” Black women amid all we are experiencing, ensuring visibility and attention.

Tamaya Bailey
reelaviolette botts-ward
Kyrah K. Brown
Brianna Y. Clark
Kenyatta Dawson
LeConté J. Dill
Maryam O. Funmilayo
Brandie Green
Courtney Jackson
Sara Jean-Francois
Julia S. Jordan-Zachery
Angela K. Lewis-Maddox
Annet Matebwe
Mbali Mazibuko
Radscheda Nobles
Nimot Ogunfemi
J. Mercy Okaalet
Chizoba Uzoamaka Okoroma
Peace Ossom-Williamson
Elizabeth Peart
Lavender Fields: Black Women Experiencing Fear, Agency, and Hope in the Time of COVID-19 offers a human approach to understanding the COVID-19 pandemic that helps to balance the overwhelming statistics with faces and stories. Focusing specifically on Black women’s and girls’ experiences in the pandemic, the text not only functions as a narrative record but also an instructional, inspirational resource for collaboration and healing.”—Ashleigh Greene Wade, Pennsylvania State University

“As a resource for women’s and gender studies, Lavender Fields is ambitious, essential reading for those who wonder about Black feminist praxis in the wake of much loss, but are eager to build new worlds.”—Alexandria C. Cunningham, Resources for Gender and Women's Studies: A Feminist Review
Lavender Fields
248 Pages 5.5 x 8.5 x 0
Published: January 2023Paperback ISBN: 9780816547364
Published: January 2023Ebook ISBN: 9780816547371

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