Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels

During the month of June, we are celebrating the books that came to us during our last open reading period. Today we bring you Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels: Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You’ve Been Told about Black Women. Drs. Jan Boulware, Rondrea Mathis, Clarissa West-White, and Kideste Yusef of Bethune-Cookman University will serve as editors. Submissions for this anthology are currently open. Read on to learn more about the project, the editors and how to submit your work.


The Editors


Dr. Jan Boulware is a tenured Associate Professor of English and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Bethune-Cookman University, located in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dr. Boulware has built her career in education on myriad levels—from primary school to the tertiary level. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southern University, an M.Ed. in Reading from Mercer University, and a dual doctorate degree in English and Humanities from Clark Atlanta University. She is an accomplished teacher-researcher, writer, curriculum creator, and administrator. Her research interests include Africana Women’s Literature, African American Folklore, and Dialect & Cultural Linguistics.

Dr. Rondrea Mathis has a career focused on the intersection of Black women and God. She is a two-time graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida and holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English education. Dr. Mathis earned her doctor of philosophy degree in English literature from the University of South Florida, and her ongoing research focuses on Black women’s unconventional and alternative spirituality in the novels of Toni Morrison, and her future research suggests examinations of Black women’s contemporary spirituality and manifestations of “sister girl genius.” Dr. Mathis is also a licensed minister in the Baptist church with emphases on social justice, Black womanhood, womanist theology, and critical engagement with the word of God. Additionally, she is an assistant professor of English at the Bethune-Cookman University as well as an advocate of Black feminism and womanism.

Dr. Clarissa West-White is a Reference Librarian/Instructor at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has degrees in Creative Writing, Curriculum & Instruction English Education and Information from Florida State University. Dr. West-White has experience as a middle and high school English teacher, program coordinator, adult literacy director, university English department chair, and assistant professor and adjunct at a number of public and private universities in the state of Florida and online. Her areas of research are as vast as her experiences, but focuses primarily on the intersections of African Americans and education, including information and technology.

Dr. Kideste Mariam Yusef is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and the Chair of the Department of Justice and Political Studies at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU). She also serves as the Assistant Director of the B-CU Center for Law and Social Justice. Dr. Yusef received a B.S. in Criminal Justice and M.A. in Applied Sociology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Law, Policy, and Practice from The Graduate Center/John Jay College of Criminal Justice, C. U. N. Y. in New York. Her research areas of expertise include community-police relations, police accountability and use of force, and race and social justice. Dr. Yusef has presented and/or supervised over fifty academic presentations, facilitated over twenty university/community forums, and has more than fifteen publications in the field. She is also the proud mother of three amazing children, Senait Wudasse, Melesse Selam, and Kebra Egziabher.




Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels: Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You’ve Been Told about Black Women revisits notions of Black womanhood to include the ways in which Black women’s perceived strength can function as a dangerous denial of Black women’s humanity. This collection addresses the stigma of this extraordinary endurance in professional and personal spaces, the Black church, in interpersonal partnerships, and within the justice arena, while also giving voice and value to Black women’s experiences as the backbone of the Black family and community.


Call for Submissions


Writers and scholars living in the United States and abroad are invited to submit essays of between 700-5000 words for the anthology on any of the following broad themes. (Other themes will be considered.)

1. Black Women and Justice
2. Black Women and Self-Care
3. Black Women and Spirituality
4. Black Women at Work and at Home
5. Black Women and Sex (and Sexuality)

Essays can be creative or academic. However, essays have to be accessible since the anthology is for a general audience.

Submissions will be accepted via Submittable through June 30, 2021. Contributors will receive a copy of the anthology as payment.

Previously published essays are welcome. Please contact Dr. Clarissa West-White at [email protected] with questions.