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The Souls of Yoruba Folk

Indigeneity, Race, and Critical Spiritual Literacy in the African Diaspora


Temitope E. Adefarakan

The Souls of Yoruba Folk explores the spiritual lives and experiences of sixteen Africans of Yoruba descent in Canada, and investigates how they make meaning of their Indigenous heritage within the geopolitical space of Eurocentric Canadian culture. The book highlights how Yoruba peoples in the African diaspora strategically utilize their Indigenous spiritual knowledges as decolonizing tools of navigation, subversion, and resistance to colonial oppression in the purportedly ‘multicultural’ space of Canada. The author powerfully weaves together literature of Yoruba peoples from multiple contexts, spanning the African continent and its diaspora, including the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe. With its strong emphasis on equity and the usefulness of spirituality in contexts of schooling, education, teaching, and learning, The Souls of Yoruba Folk is ideal for critical and multicultural education courses, and will be especially useful for educators and researchers in the areas of critical interdisciplinary studies, sociology, women’s studies/feminism, anti-racist scholarship and pedagogy, critical education, Canadian studies, equity and religious studies, and African/Black diasporic studies.
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Modupe Olorun Eleda mi [I give thanks to God my Creator].

To the Most High Olorun Olodumare, the Divine Supreme Being and Creator of our Universe, I am grateful for the strength and courage endured through the years it took to journey The Souls of Yoruba Folk, and especially for the gift of my son along the way. I am grateful for the many people sent during this time who joined me on the journey, at different points, for different reasons and purposes. Some are still with me, while others have diverged to take their own paths. I give thanks to have experienced their presence in my life and the imprints they have left both in my life and this book.

I thank the 16 Yoruba community members for their indispensable contribution, who, upon agreeing to participate in this project, made it rich and unique. This book could not have happened otherwise: Thank you for having the courage to voice your experiences and for sharing them with me. I am also grateful to Toronto’s Yoruba Community Association (YCA), whose staff and members have been extremely supportive.

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