Indigeneity, Race, and Critical Spiritual Literacy in the African Diaspora
Chapter 1. A Call … to the Souls of Yoruba Folk
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A CALL … TO THE SOULS OF YORUBA FOLK
Many stories of the Yoruba have been told: stories by artists, often in the form of written literature, visual art, poetry, and theater; stories on film, namely from Nollywood; stories by academics, historically from an anthropological perspective that framed us Yoruba within the grand old metanarrative of Africans as primitive, subhuman, and uncivilized objects of study in need of Western (read: White) aid. More recently, academic stories of Yoruba peoples are being told by Africans (who are also often Yoruba) in an attempt to rescue ourselves from those Eurocentric narratives that have characterized us as bankrupt of our humanity. Many of these stories have been told with the intent to write back to empire, humanizing us while simultaneously telling of the atrocities of transatlantic slavery, colonialism, racism, and sexism. These stories proliferate and continue to grow, and rightly so. Woven in and out of these artistic and academic narratives have been those told by the griots, the Babalawos and Iyalawos, the storytellers sitting by the fireside telling Yoruba trickster tales and fables to the young ones as they listen intently. Some narratives have been captured, reimagined, and creatively re-spun by artists and academics alike, while others have likely been lost to us and died with our wisest sages. Inevitably, there are many stories of the Yoruba. And what I offer here in The Souls of Yoruba Folk: Indigeneity, Race, and Critical Spiritual Literacy in...
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