Absence and Presence – Living the MysteryA Model of Care for African American Women Using the Theory of Ambiguous Lossby Beverly R. Wallace
This paper re-conceptualizes the theory of ambiguous loss to engage historical and contemporary realties of African American women’s lived experiences. Ambiguous Loss theory suggests that a family member can be emotionally or psychologically present but physically absent or physically present but psychologically absent. The paper asserts that African American women always have lived with ambiguity and suggests reclaiming tenets of the theory. As a case study, the paper uses the lives of women in Ava DuVerney’s Queen Sugar and lyrics of the series’ theme song to explore the dilemma of expected ways of being (“keep the color in the line”) alongside desire (“dreams never dying”) and hopes (“taking flight”). The paper encourages African American women to pursue healing while living the mystery while unapologetically reclaiming and reframing what it means to live with ambiguity. It proposes a model of care that centralizes spirit and spirit work, rituals and music and dance, radical socialization, creating a spirit space for inner well-being, using power from the periphery, reclaiming collective memories, and leaving a signpost for the generations to remember.
Pelas mãos das mulheres negrasConstruindo uma Justiça com equidadeby Livia Maria Santana e Sant’Anna Vaz
O presente artigo tem por objetivo evidenciar a necessidade de inclusão de mulheres negras no sistema de justiça brasileiro para a promoção de uma Justiça com equidade. O estudo demonstra como as opressões interseccionais de raça e gênero – às quais as mulheres negras estiveram submetidas ao longo da história colonialista escravocrata do Brasil – seguem condicionando o acesso de mulheres negras aos espaços de poder, notadamente ao sistema de justiça brasileiro. São apresentados dados que revelam os efeitos do racismo e do sexismo institucionais na atuação dos operadores do Direito, salientando como a escassez de mulheres negras – categoria social de maior vulnerabilidade na sociedade brasileira – resulta numa visão única, brancocêntrica e androcêntrica, a ponto de converter a realização de Justiça num privilégio do homem branco. Sob essa perspectiva, defende-se que a mulher negra se encontra numa espécie de encruzilhada interseccional que, se de um lado, reforça suas vulnerabilidades sociais, de outro, potencializa sua capacidade de promover uma transformação epistemológica e hermenêutica nos órgãos do sistema de justiça, para a construção de uma Justiça com equidade de gênero e de raça. Palavras-chave: mulheres negras, sistema de justiça, equidade, raça, gênero
By Black Women's HandsBuilding Equitable Justiceby Lívia Maria Santana e Sant’Anna Vaz
The article evinces the need for the inclusion of Black women in the Brazilian justice system if equitable justice is to be achieved. The intersecting oppressions of race and gender to which Black women have been subjected down through the colonialist, slave-owning history of Brazil are still conditioning Black women’s access to spaces of power, notedly in the Brazilian justice system. Data are presented that illustrate the effects of institutional racism and sexism on justice officials, particularly how the dearth of Black women – the most vulnerabilized social category in Brazilian society – produces a single, white-centric, androcentric interpretation that ultimately makes the achievement of justice a white man’s privilege. From this perspective, Black women find themselves at a kind of intersectional crossroads that, on one hand, reinforces their social vulnerabilities while, on the other hand, it potentializes their ability to foster an epistemological, hermeneutic transformation inside the justice system, aimed at building a system that incorporates gender and race equity. Keywords: Black women, justice system, equity, race, gender
“Have You Eaten?”Portrayals of Deviant Women in Nollywoodby Debbie Frempong
This paper explores filmic representations of womanhood in Nollywood, Nigeria’s largest film industry. Focusing on three different films over the span of 10 years, the essay argues that Nollywood’s engagements with Christian moral norms significantly impacts its portrayals of women, producing specific narratives around deviance and its accompanying failures of womanhood. It also shows how these narratives are differentiated through social class, as they highlight the institutionalized capitalist-sexist nature of the professional sphere women have to navigate. Traversing the public-private spheres, these narratives reveal the social pressures that simultaneously produce and disrupt ideas of womanhood. By analyzing the films, the essay posits that Nollywood’s representation of women reflects contemporary social anxieties about modernity, capitalism and morality, which are in turn refracted through the image of the deviant woman.
Womanist Spirit and Womanist Healing for Sandra Bland and George Floydby Carolyn M. Jones Medine
Womanist thought offers a holistic worldview from which to interpret the deaths of Sandra Bland and George Floyd. Alice Walker, in the novel Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart, introduces the Grandmother Spirit, a figure of the Great Spirit, an important element in Walker’s definition of what it means to be “womanist.” The Grandmother informs the action of Grand Mothers, both living and ancestor, who offer potential healing to Black people under violence, including death at the hands of police. The article analyzes one episode in the novel, Lalika’s arrest and rape by police, and the appearance of an ancestral Grand Mother, Saartjie Bartmann, who sustains Lalika. After exploring this visitation of spirits, the article turns to the cases of Sandra Bland, for whom no ancestor appeared, and George Floyd, for whom his mother and a host of Grand Mother witnesses, did appear. The article concludes with an examination of Walker’s essay “This Was Not an Area of Large Plantations,” in which she meditates on intergenerational interconnectedness and truth-telling and suggests art as a site of imaginative justice. Key Words: Alice Walker, womanist, Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart, Grandmother/Grand Mother, Saartjie Bartmann, Sandra Bland, George Floyd