Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations of Aje in Africana Literature

Oya's Tornado
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“Blazes a new trail in Africana literary criticism by providing an insight into the soul and spirit of Africana womanhood.”

                            --Anthonia Kalu, The Ohio State University, author of Women, Literature, and Development in Africa   

This is the revised and expanded edition of Teresa N. Washington's groundbreaking book Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations of Aje in Africana Literature.

In Yoruba language and culture, Aje signifies both a phenomenal spiritual power and the human beings who exercise that power. Aje is the birthright of Africana women who are revered as the Gods of Society. While Africana men can have Aje, its owners and controllers are Africana women. Because it is an African female power, and due to its invisibility, ubiquity, and profundity, Aje is often maligned as witchcraft. However, as Teresa N. Washington reveals in Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts, Aje is central to the Yoruba ethos, worldview, and cosmology. Not only is it essential to human creation and artistic creativity, but as a force of justice and retribution, Aje is vital to social harmony and balance.

Washington analyzes forms, figures, and forces of Aje in the Yoruba world, in the Caribbean Islands, in Latin America, and in African America. Washington's research reveals that with the exile and enslavement of millions of Africans, Aje became a global force and an essential ally in organizing insurrections, soothing shattered souls, and reminding the dispossessed of their inherent divinity.

From her in-depth exploration of Aje in Pan-African history and orature, Washington guides readers through rich analyses of the symbolic, methodological, and spiritual manifestations of Aje that are central to important works by Africana writers but are rarely elucidated by Western criticism. Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts includes innovative readings of works by many Africana writers, including Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, Wole Soyinka, Jamaica Kincaid, and Ntozake Shange.

This revised and expanded edition of Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts will appeal to scholars of Africana literature, African religion and philosophy, gender studies, and comparative literature. Devotees of Africana spiritual systems will find this book to be indispensable.

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About the author

Teresa N. Washington, Ph.D. is the author of The Architects of Existence: Aje in Yoruba Cosmology, Ontology, and Orature; Manifestations of Masculine Magnificence: Divinity in Africana Life, Lyrics, and Literature; and Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations of Aje in Africana Literature. She is also the editor of The African World in Dialogue: An Appeal to Action! Dr. Washington’s analyses are published as chapters in Harold Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations: Toni Morrison’s Beloved: New Edition; Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in the Latina/o and Afro-Atlantic Diasporas; Esu: Yoruba God, Power, and the Imaginative Frontiers; and Step into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature. Her articles have been published in many noted journals, including the African American Review, the Journal of American Folklore, FEMSPEC, and the Journal of Pan African Studies.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Oya's Tornado
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Published on
Dec 23, 2015
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Pages
370
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / African
Literary Criticism / African
Literary Criticism / American / African American
Religion / Sexuality & Gender Studies
Social Science / Black Studies (Global)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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