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The Revelations of Asher

Toward Supreme Love in Self – (This Is an Endarkened, Feminist, New Literacies Event)

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Jeanine M. Staples

The Revelations of Asher: Toward Supreme Love in Self is an endarkened, feminist, new literacies event. It critically and creatively explores Black women’s terror in love. With poetry, prose, and analytic memos, Jeanine Staples shows how a group of Black women’s talk and writings about relationships revealed epistemological and ontological revelations, after 9/11. These revelations are presented in the context of a third wave new literacies framework. They are voiced and storied dynamically by the women’s seven fragmented selves. Through the selves, we learn the five ways the women lived as lovers: Main Chick, Side Chick, Bonnie, Bitch, and Victim. As an alternative-response to these identities in love, the author presents a new way. She introduces the Supreme Lover Identity and illuminates its integral connection to social and emotional justice for and through Black women’s wisdom.
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The rise of fragmented selves (Jeanine speaks)

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The rise of fragmented selves

When we began to notice Asher (and other fragmented selves) speaking in our data, members of the inquiry realized these selves had a lot to say. Asher’s revelations about “love, sex, commitment, and desire” were complex and underscored by a Judeo-Christian doctrine for abstinence before marriage that some of the members of the inquiry subscribed to. Although it can be understood as rather didactic, Asher’s communication about abstinence was, to her and Soren, a revelation. A revelation can be understood as an epistemological arrival at the precipice of a wisdom; it is informed by collected knowledge, ways of being, lived experience, imagery, and written or spoken w/Word (where “word” refers to utterances of humanity and “Word” refers to utterances of the Divine). These revelations became guiding principles that were accessed from the literate lives of the members of the inquiry.

They were evidenced by a(n often recurring) declaration or interrogative in relation to a particularly important idea regarding relationship. Revelations are meant to enliven dead (i.e. platitudinous) consciousness, by reforming the parameters of belief and subsequently freeing corresponding actions. Around the end of Phase II of the inquiry, I began to pay attention specifically to the ways members’ statements, ideas, and questions signified the onset of wisdoms through revelations, and how they were presented in tones, accents, and inflections that seemed to be slightly set apart from the common voices of the members, the voices I had come to know...

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