MANIFESTATIONS OF ÀJẸ́ IN AFRICANA LITERATURE
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OUR MOTHERS, OUR POWERS, OUR TEXTS:
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We are absolutely thrilled to be publisher of the revised and expanded edition of Teresa N. Washington’s groundbreaking book Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations of Àjẹ́ in Africana Literature.
In Yoruba language and culture, Àjẹ́ signifies both a phenomenal spiritual power and the human beings who exercise that power. Àjẹ́ is the birthright of Africana women who are revered as the Gods of Society. While Africana men can have Àjẹ́, its owners and controllers are Africana women. Because it is an African female power, and due to its invisibility, ubiquity, and profundity, Àjẹ́ is often maligned as witchcraft. However, as Teresa N. Washington reveals in Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts, Àjẹ́ is central to the Yoruba ethos, worldview, and cosmology. Not only is it essential to human creation and artistic creativity, but as a force of justice and retribution, Àjẹ́ is vital to social harmony and balance.
Washington analyzes forms, figures, and forces of Àjẹ́ in the Yoruba world, in the Caribbean Islands, in Latin America, and in African America. Washington's research reveals that with the exile and enslavement of millions of Africans, Àjẹ́ became a global force and an essential ally in organizing insurrections, soothing shattered souls, and reminding the dispossessed of their inherent divinity.
From her in-depth exploration of Àjẹ́ in Pan-African history and orature, Washington guides readers through rich analyses of the symbolic, methodological, and spiritual manifestations of Àjẹ́ that are central to important works by Africana writers but are rarely elucidated by Western criticism. Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts includes innovative readings of works by many Africana writers, including Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, Wole Soyinka, Jamaica Kincaid, and Ntozake Shange.
This revised and expanded edition of Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts will appeal to scholars of Africana literature, African religion and philosophy, gender studies, and comparative literature. Devotees of Africana spiritual systems will find this book to be indispensable.
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