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The Souls of Yoruba Folk

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

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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 5. “They’re not always right but they’re older”: The Polemics and Paradoxes of Seniority in Yoruba (Indigenous) Culture

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“THEY’RE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT BUT THEY’RE OLDER”

The Polemics and Paradoxes of Seniority in Yoruba (Indigenous) Culture

Could it be that Africa yet awaits discovery? This time, however, in the profound, not the geographical, sense, which makes no sense at all as a claim on any inhabited space. A continent yet waiting to be truly discovered—that is, virtually excavated, all magic and reality, myth and history, warts and beauty marks, as a proposition of universal challenge to facile preconceptions. And the first line of explorers should be—who else?—the indigenes themselves, astonished at what they had always taken for granted, or overlooked … It is important to begin here, since the “discovery” that we urge must be primarily that of self, Africa being obviously in existence first and foremost for Africans before all others

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