Writers and artists
have always played pivotal roles in restructuring the social
hierarchy of class and race in the United States. Early writings
such as Narrative of the
Life of Fredrick Douglass authored by Fredrick
Douglass vividly portrayed the brutality of slavery greatly
advancing the abolitionist movement. W. E B. Du Bios’
Reconstruction in America challenged the
prevailing orthodoxy of black inferiority. Other greats such as Z.
Hurston, C. Cullen, and J. Toomer provided inspirational leadership
that resulted in the explosion of African art and literary
expression known as the Harlem Renaissance.
The mid-20th century gave rise to novelist Richard Wright and his attention to racial segregation and injustice. Works during the Civil Rights Movement included texts by Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. and The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Roots both penned by Alex Haley. The late 20th century brought award winning writers such as Alice Walker and Toni Morrison to the fore of narrative and historical fiction. Black literature was (beyond L. Hansberry’s, A Raisin in the Sun) making its way as inclusive American classics.
Today’s African-American writers are working to remove the veil that continues to distort our history and religion. Following the footsteps of Ben Okri and Wole Soyinka, these writers delve into creative fictional narrative that portrays the beauty and psychological depth of African arts, history, epics, and myths; and the characters that embody them.
Added to the list of emerging writers are: Oloye Karade and Yamaya Cruz. Mr. Karade is the author of Storms of the Orisha and Emina and the Lake Dragon. His fictional narratives are based on knowledge amassed over his thirty years as an initiate in the Yoruba/Ifa religious tradition. The spirits and deities of the tradition serve as mythological and religious entities directly impacting the characters and plots of his novels. Yamaya Cruz writes with a flow of New Age spirituality embedded with twist and turns distinctively African. Her novel, When the Shadows Began to Dance is a creative narrative that depicts enslaved Africans beset by mental disorders –disorders alleviated by supplications to African deities and ancestors who’d also survived the Middle Passage. The healing of minds torn by horrid treatment via faith in the ‘old ways’ is the premise behind her work.
As a community, we understand that our ancestors survived the atrocities committed against them in America and the entire world by keeping African art and culture alive. We ask that you help us in our similar endeavor. Our community is now open and we’re accepting members. Also, if you have works of literature, art, or music we’d love to review them and place them on the New African Spirituality website. Together we can win.
are looking for a crash course on how to be fearless, check out my
e-course. The Seven
African Powers: The Stepping Stones to Enlightenment.
Or, if you have additional
questions call for a consultation. I am always ready and willing to help!