Joanne Banks (1958 – )

Inspiration for Activism!

  • Fervent advocate on behalf of Black women.
  • Introduced womanist ways of knowing, raising awareness of the value of African-American women’s experience and perspectives.
  • Developed storytelling as a crucial tool for self-discovery, liberation and

    Joanne Banks


  • Uses storytelling as a means of developing comprehension and analytic skills in 3 to 5 year olds enrolled in a Head Start program.
  • Mentor and advocate for African-American nurse scholars, engaging as co-authors on scholarly publications.
  • “I have been called to be a griot. In traditional African societies, the griot was an oral histonan and educator. Griots were charged with maintaining the cultural links between the past and present, sharing ancestral wisdom with current generations. Storytelling has been more than a means for
    me to promote liberation for Black women. It has been the foundation for me to not only survive but thrive in the academy and the world beyond. Storytelling allows me to facilitate the well-being of Black women in research settings and through teaching.” (Banks, 2014, p. 201)

More information here and here

“With my favorite beings on the planet, my son and trees”








Key publications:

Banks, J. (2014). And That’s Going to Help Black Women How? Storytelling and Striving to Stay True to the Task of Liberation in the Academy. In P. Kagan, M. Smith, & P. Chinn (Eds.), Philosophies and Practices of Emancipatory Nursing: Social Justice as Praxis (pp. 188–204). New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Banks-Wallace, J. (2008). Eureka! I finally get IT: journaling as a tool for promoting praxis in research. The ABNF Journal: Official Journal of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty in Higher Education, Inc, 19, 24–27.

Banks-Wallace, J., Barnes, A., Swanegan, D., Lewis, S. (2007). Listen, just listen: Professional storytelling and interactive learning as strategies for prompting reflection on the importance of taking time for self. Storytelling, Self, and Society, 3(3), 161-182.

Banks-Wallace, J., & Parks, L. (2001). “So that our souls don’t get damaged”: The impact of racism on maternal thinking and practice related to the protection of daughters. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 22, 77–98.

Banks-Wallace, J. (2000). Womanist ways of knowing: theoretical considerations for research with African American women. ANS. Advances in Nursing Science, 22(3), 33–45. Retrieved from

Banks-Wallace, J. (1998). Emancipatory potential of storytelling in a group. Image – The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 30, 17–21.

One thought on “Joanne Banks (1958 – )

  1. This is to try to contact Joanne Banks. This is Karen Webber, we were friends when our kids were young. I miss you! I didn’t get my letter(s) sent back to you until after you had moved again. If you send me your new address, I’ll try again.
    I think of you now and then, and hope you are well and happy. Also sending good wishes to both the Williams. : )
    P.S. Really impressed with your work, too.


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