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The name of this site and this course is inspired by Shirley Chisholm and her campaign slogan for New York’s 12th Congressional District, “Unbought and Unbossed.”  It is the most direct and fierce intellectual charge that I can imagine for how and why we talk about black women’s discourses and lives.  More information on that campaign’s framing for this course is available in The First Day Overview  and in Unit Five.

Frameworks for Black Women’s Rhetoric is where you need to go to see how we will be discussing black women’s rhetoric. For details about grading and the structure of the course, see the section called: Course Overview. All traditional, print-based reading materials for students enrolled in the course are available at Course Readings (there is a password required).   The assignments of the course, especially the long-term writing projects, are located at Writing Projects (accessing the projects that are specific to the students enrolled in this course requires a password.) Class agendas and discussions will also be available here at Course Discussions and Issues; these conversations are open to outside view only when/if that is decided by the students enrolled in the course.

Here are some other things that might help you navigate this site better. If you click at the photos on the right, it will link you to the course units.  When I reference an issue, especially historical issues, that some of you may not know, I try to provide a link to some information that can supplement your knowledge. Follow these as you need to.  Sometimes, there is also music or a speech on the various pages of this website.  Black women are NOT silent and this website was just too quiet.  It needed a sound identity and a visual identity. If you get tired after repeated plays, there is, however, a bar at the top of each page so that you can turn off the song if you like.  All of the music and speeches on the site were borrowed from internet sources, usually youtube, which means we get mostly live performances, so ideal for rhetorical analyses!  Happy listening!  There are also various visual images across the site, also borrowed from internet sources, whether it be black female artists’ album covers or paintings.  I encourage you to stop, pause, and SEE this as rhetoric too.

To all of the  young women and men who I will be meeting this semester, I am looking forward to each moment we will be spending together.  I ask that you bring your bodies, your minds, and your hearts to this work and do for the black women we will be studying what is rarely done for them: see, remember, and hear them!

To those of you visiting us and this site from afar, we hope that you too will join us in seeing, remembering, and hearing black women.

Peace and Blessings from Brooklyn, NY

Carmen Kynard


There are seven units of study in this course and a closing unit.  Here is what those units entail: