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Spirituality and Community

Spirituality and Community

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Spirituality and Community

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  1. Spirituality and Community AS/HUMA 1300 9.0 Faculty of Arts

  2. 1. Rewrites the dominant American historical narrative. 2. Challenges racialized and gendered stereotypes originating in slavery. 3. Provides a bridge between the two schools of twentieth-century black thought. 4. Explores an African-based spirituality that centers rather than marginalizes women. Novel as Summary of the First Term

  3. “Bascombe Wade’s stone had been marked 1788-1823. Who exactly was he? And I got the same legend. The unnamed slave woman. The deeds to Willow Springs. The vigil by the ocean bluff. Except that you told me that woman was your grandmothers’ great-grandmother. But it was odd again the way you said it—she was the great, great, grand, Mother—as if you were listing the attributes of a goddess . The whole thing was so intriguing, I wondered if that woman had lived at all. Places like this island were ripe for myths, but if she had really existed, there must be some record. Maybe in Bascombe Wade’s papers: deeds of sale for his slaves. Where had his home been on this island? Did he have a family? Who erected his tombstone?” (Mama Day 218) Willow Springs

  4. “Their laughter had been waiting for me, and as it circled around us, I could finally that they were sisters. The heads thrown back in similar angles to let out a matching pitch of flowing sound. Miss Abigail put her hands up on each side of my face—Well, bless your heart, child—and a lump formed in my throat at that gentle pressure. Up until that moment, no woman had ever called me her child. Did they see it in my eyes? The intense envy for all that you had and the gratitude for their being willing to let me belong? . . . .And as they led me up the porch steps, I thought of something you had actually said when we pulled into the yard: Relax, we’re coming home.” (Mama Day 176) Reconstructing the Black Family

  5. “So after washing my face and making myself a cup of mint tea, I called my son inside. I put him on my lap and told him that he was named after a man who looked just like love. He frowned for a moment, tucking in his bottom lip in that peculiar way he has, and said, That’s all? I couldn’t trust myself to do anything but nod. Well, he loved the center of marshmallows, and he loved it when his daddy took him up high on the Ferris wheel, and when it got to be summer, he loved the way the water and sand felt between his toes—did you look like that? Yes, I told him, all of that.” (Mama Day 310) Black Male/Female Relationships

  6. “Candle Walk night. Looking over here from beyond the bridge, you might believe some of the more far-fetched stories about Willow Springs: The island got spit out from the mouth of God, and when it fell to the earth it brought along an army of stars. He tried to reach down and scoop them back up, and found Himself shaking hands with the greatest conjure woman on earth. “Leave ‘em here, Lord,” she said. “I ain’t got nothing but these poor black hands to guide my people, but I can lead on with light.” Nothing but a story, and if there’s an ounce of truth in it, it can’t weigh even that much. over here nobody knows why every December twenty-second folks take to the road—strolling, laughing and talking—holding some kind of light in their hands. It’s been going on before they were born, and the ones born before them.” (Mama Day 110) Candle Walk

  7. “What do you do when someone starts telling you something you just cannot believe? You can walk away. You can stand there and challenge them. Or in my case, you can fight the urge to laugh if it wasn’t so pathetic: the grizzled old man with his hat of rooster feathers and his necklace of bones, shifting his feet and clearing his throat as he struggled to provide me with minute details. I had stopped listening after the first incident about some woman named Frances who Junior Lee used to live with, because I was thinking that since my one hope for deliverance from the acute madness of this place—a madness exemplified by his story—was in front of me going up in smoke, I would do the only thing left for me to do: help work on that bridge. Snakeroot. Powdered ashes. Loose hair. Chicken blood. I would work until I dropped to get you out of there.” (Mama Day 286-7) Alternative Spiritualities

  8. “And now there was that boy. Miranda looks down at her hands again. In all her years she could count on half her fingers folks she’d met with a will like his. He believes in himself—deep within himself—’cause he ain’t never had a choice. And he keeps it protected down in his center, but she needs that belief buried in George. Of his own accord he has to hand it over to her. She needs his hand in hers—his very hand—so she can connect it up with all the believing that had gone before. A single moment was all she asked, even a fingertip to touch hers here at the other place. So together they could be the bridge for Baby Girl to walk over. Yes, in his very hands he already held the missing piece she’d come looking for.” (Mama Day 285) Building Bridges