African American women have survived nearly 400 years of oppression by crafting a culture of resistance, perseverance in the struggle, and the ability to adapt while remaining undergirded by faith. Using the biblical story of Josephs exile and rise to power in Egypt, author and pastor Debora Jackson highlights leadership fundamentals gleaned from that story and from the stories of black womens experiences that may be redeemed for the good of ourselves and our organizations.
Dr. Jackson centers African-American womens ways of being and knowing in this tour de force text. She brilliantly translates the distinctive leadership styles of African American women: highlighting our unique tradition of mother wit, communal and collaborative engagement, storytelling, and innovation. Jacksons Meant for Good is a must-read for anyone seeking to translate the components of womanist theology into cutting-edge, dynamic leadership principles. I recommend Meant for Good as an indispensable resource for all senior level managers and leaders. Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes, MDiv, MA, Founding Lead Pastor, The Double Love Experience Church
It is ALWAYS time for black women to write about black womens experiences as the authority. This book is a necessary contribution to the growing canon of insight and wisdom speaking directly to black womens leadership. Debora Jackson is decolonizing authority in Meant for Good: Fundamentals of Womanist Leadership, and this book will long be a tool for black women and other folk wise enough to tap into its insights. So much of what Jackson has shared in this text will be new and profound to those who have never had to center the casual brilliance of black women while on their own journeys to becoming better leaders. EbonyJanice Moore, Hip Hop Womanist, Founder of Black Girl Mixtape
Debora Jackson takes us to the kitchen table with history, story, and experience to see and understand how and why womanist leadership is not only important, but essential. In this text Jackson uses her own experiences and those of her foremothers to help us understand the double bind that African American women have had to overcome and why these women are uniquely positioned to lead. She offers a model of womanist leadership that values the marginalized voices that are typically silenced because it understands the inherent complexities of intersectionality, which can transform churches and classrooms alike. Lakisha R. Lockhart, PhD, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University
Women of faith in all walks of life need this book. We need to read, reflect, and sit with the narratives that Debora Jackson shares from her own life, from our communal experiences, from our black female role models, and from the biblical lessons of women as victims and survivors. Jackson focuses on the ways that women lead to provide a model for future generationsa worthy contribution that is indeed good. Valerie Miles-Tribble, PhD, DMin, Associate Professor, Ministerial Leadership & Practical Theology, Graduate Theological Union / American Baptist Seminary of the West
Imbued with memorable stories, . . . Debora Jacksons Meant for Good offers many incentives for receiving Gods gifts of endless possibilities. Initiating a leadership blueprint that welcomes her-stories to compliment his-stories, . . . Jackson uses biblical stories, African history, and African American experiences to address racial tactics used to impede egalitarianism. In confronting race, class, and gender oppression, she identifies key Africana womanist descriptors (e.g., self-naming, self-defining, family-centered, strong, wholeness and spiritual), strategically offering a diverse evolution. . . Demonstrating an appreciation for the fact that there is room for All Gods Children with their experiences, . . .this authentic, minister-scholar leader has refined a theoretical paradigm, advocating community led by God. ... Clenora Hudson-Weems, PhD, author, Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves, 5th Edition
Debora Jacksons powerful work, Meant for Good, strategically and with candid brilliance reminds us that African American women have survived nearly four hundred years of oppression in this country by crafting a culture of resistance, perseverance in the struggle, and the ability to change adaptively while remaining undergirded by faith. This is an excellent resource for those who are serious about understanding the reality of the struggle that persists for African American women in America. Christine A. Smith, Senior Pastor, Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland, Inc., www.rmgrcle.org / www.shepastorchris.org
Debora Jackson, MDiv, DMin, is the former Director of Lifelong Learning at Yale Divinity School and former Executive Director of the Ministers Council, ABCUSA. Dr. Jackson also served as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Needham, MA. Having previously held numerous corporate leadership positions, she served as a Chief Operating and Chief Information Officer and an independent consultant.