Let Spirit Speak!

Cultural Journeys through the African Diaspora

Edited by Vanessa K. Valdés

Subjects: African Studies, Cultural Anthropology
Paperback : 9781438442181, 161 pages, June 2012
Hardcover : 9781438442174, 161 pages, June 2012

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Table of contents

Invocation: Excerpts from Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, me, & THE WORLD
Gina Athena Ulysse
From Animal Skin to Oil Drum: African Agency Though the Steelband Movement
Daina Nathaniel
When the Past Becomes [the] Present: Remembering and Writing My Own Ancestral Past
Osunbimpe Abegunde
Racismo en la Cuba contemporánea: documental RAZA (2008)
Oilda Martínez
Los Ayudados: Oral History of a Guapetón
T. J. Desch Obi
Blackness, Music, and (National/Diasporic) Identity in the Colombian Caribbean
Ligia S. Aldana
Ancestry, Art, and Commodity: María Magalena Compos-Pons’s My Mother Told Me I Am Chinese Series
Heather Shirey
A Prescription for Wholeness: Resisting the Discourse of Difficulty to Embrace the Challenge of Toni Case Bambara’s The Salt Eaters
Ashley David
Selections from Kohnjehr Woman
Ana-Maurine Lara
Lauren K. Alleyne
Caribbean Spaces, Transatlantic Spirit: Violence and Spiritual Reimaginings in the Caribbean
Tzarina T. Prater
Poesía, mujer e identidad afro: La presencia femenina y el yo poético de Tambores en la noche
Luisa García-Conde
Alaridos de las Baldías: The Role of AfroColombian Poetry in the Creation of a Black Identity in Colombia
Guesnerth Josué Perea
Anne Lescot’s and Laurence Magloire’s Des homes et des dieux: Queering the Haitian Religious Experience
Sophie F. Saint-Just
Beyond the Battlefield of Institutions: Everyday Abolition from the Antebellum South
Jasmine Syedullah
La autobiografía de la artista en la nada clariceana
John Thomas Maddox IV
Where Do We Go from Here? A Call to Action
Vanessa K. Valdés
Conference Program

Interdisciplinary celebration of the cultural contributions of members of the African Diaspora in the Western hemisphere.


In this unique and groundbreaking collection, writers, critics, historians, and poets celebrate the cultural contributions of members of the African diaspora in the Western Hemisphere. Beginning with the cries and prayers of Gina Athena Ulysse to the Haitian loa Erzulie in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, each writer in the collection engages in the recovering of the past, highlighting that which has been buried in the history of time. The contributors look at a wide range of artistic productions, from poetry and fiction, to art, music, and film, and martial arts produced in Cuba, Columbia, Brazil, Haiti, and the United States. Haitian Creole, Spanish, and English are brought together, giving the reader a vivid sense of the multiplicity of voices in the African diaspora. Rather than concentrate on the dispersion of peoples of African descent, this collection focuses instead on the multiple sites of origins in the Americas, as diasporic legacies are found throughout the continent.

Vanessa K. Valdés is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at City College, the City University of New York.


"…the diverse contributors [Valdés] selected for this book demonstrate how vital and thought-provoking writings about the African Diaspora are then and now, using memory and sustainability of culture as the link between both … Let Spirit Speak! is an important link to redefining how we should think about the continent of Africa and other continents and countries its descendants have made home. " — Black Diaspora Review