Black Women Speak Back, Up, and Out
Chapter Thirteen: Embodying Dillard’s Endarkened Feminist Epistemology
← 152 | 153 →CHAPTER THIRTEEN
AMIRA MILLICENT DAVIS
A full moon is rising. Monday morning’s lecture on the beginnings of the African slave trade awaits me, but only after I drum for Djibril’s Sunday evening dance class, my church, and I can’t miss service. I start the charcoal for the frankincense and myrrh. I blow the smoke from the sage bundle throughout the rooms, in the corners of my house, across my altars, around the sleeping bodies of my children and grands. There are candles to light, a bath of Epsom and sea salts to run. I choose five crystals to soak with—leopard and fire jasper for protection, turquoise for wealth and peace, citrine for mental and psychic clarity, and rutilated quartz as an accelerant. I check my inbox, “Mama Amira, are you going to submit an abstract for our book?” “Yes. Sorry for the delay. I’m running behind.” The bath awaits. I sit in the warmth of its water and open myself to ideas, to words, theories, and concepts. For me, ritual is episteme and methodology.
In her essay, “When the Ground Is Black, the Ground Is Fertile,” Cynthia Dillard (2008) reflects on the Fourth Moment of qualitative research, described as a “crisis of representation” (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005). According to Dillard (2008), the crisis emanated from “hegemonic structures that have traditionally and historically negated and impeded the intellectual, social, and cultural contributions of marginalized communities” (p. 278). These structures also “negated the spiritual contributions of African ascendant people,...
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