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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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Chapter 4. At a Crossroads: Esu, Language, and the Politics of Critical Spiritual Literacy


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Esu, Language, and the Politics of Critical Spiritual Literacy

I have found in my work, for example, that where a narrow kind of Christianity has been instilled, people accept that they have been born evil. This view infiltrates the way people look at each other. “We are basically evil.” The battle against our nature never ends. This belief automatically limits a person’s abilities to come back into grace. It’s as if one’s wings have been clipped before she can fly. It takes people out of the state of grace in which all babies naturally arrive.

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