Fortress Press

Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community, Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition

Katie’s Canon

Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community, Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition

Katie Geneva Cannon (Author)


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Katie's Canon is a selection of essays written for a variety of occasions throughout Cannon's celebrated career. This new edition contains three additional essays and a new foreword by Emilee Townes. The volume weaves together the particularities of Cannon's own history and the oral tradition of African American women, African American women's literary traditions, and sociocultural and ethical analysis. The result is a classic. Cannon addresses racism and economics, analyses of Zora Neale Hurston as a resource for a constructive ethic, the importance of race and gender in the development of a Black liberation ethic, womanist preaching in the Black church, and slave ideology and biblical interpretation.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506471297
  • eBook ISBN 9781506471303
  • Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 248
  • Publication Date November 23, 2021


"Boom! Katie's Canon captures the moral wisdom of Black women while accomplishing her goal to 'recast the very terms and terrain of religious scholarship.' The gathers the best of Cannon's writings as a prophetic call for future generations to confront systems of domination and move from death to life. Katie's Canon is the sacred text that every student of womanist religious thought will return to again and again."

Melanie Jones

"To read Katie's Canon is to experience an African American spiritual in the making."

Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan

"We still hear Katie Geneva Cannon's voice. Cannon calls us into our most authentic selves to do justice 'for the people.'"

Sharon Watson Fluker

"Every theologian, student, and layperson should have a copy of Katie's Canon to measure the breadth and depth of their theological commitment."

James H. Cone

"This is vintage Katie Cannon--challenging, prophetic, self-critical, and womanist to the bone."

Cornel West

"Katie's Canon illustrates the work of making Black women visible. Cannon demonstrates the presence of another canon of moral reasoning not bound to the predominately white and male academy."

Reggie Williams

Table of Contents

Katie's Canon 25th Anniversary Proposed Structure


New Forward- Emilie M. Townes

Introduction- Katie's Original

New Introduction- Womanist Perspectival Discourse

Part One*:

Womanism as unapologetic moral agency of Black women grounded in consciousness, critique and creativity

1. Surviving the Blight

2. Emergence of Black Feminist Consciousness

3. Moral Wisdom In the Black Women's Literary Tradition

4. Unctuousness as Virtue- According to the Life of Zora Neale Hurston

Part Two*:

Womanism as indivisibly inclusive approach to justice-making essential to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female

5. Hitting a Straight Lick With A Crooked Stick: The Womanist Dilemma in the Development of Black Liberation Ethic

6. Appropriation and Reciprocity in the Doing of Womanist Ethics

7. Womanist Interpretation and Preaching in the Black Church

8. Sexing Black Women: Liberation from the Prisonhouse of Anatomical Authority

Part Three*:

Womanism as defiant affirmation of loving our own sources, stories and culture, regardless

9. Exposing My Home Point of View

10. Resources for a Constructive Ethic: The Life and Work of Zora Neale Hurston

11. Teaching Afrocentric Ethics: The Hinges Upon Which the Future Swings

12. Racism and Economics: The Perspective of Oliver C. Cox

Part Four*:

Womanism as continual moral commitment to participate in critical and constructive movements of the Dance of Redemption in order to "remembering what we never knew."

13. Slave Ideology and Biblical Interpretation

14. The Wounds of Jesus: Justification of Goodness in the Face of Manifold Evil

15. Metalogues and Dialogues: Teaching the Womanist Idea

16. Unearthing Ethical Treasures: The Intrusive Markers of Social Class