Zora Neale Hurston wrote Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica Jewell Parker Rhodes wrote Voodoo Dreams a novel of Marie Laveau. Who else?
My love, My Love by Rosa Guy, Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson, Yvonne Chireau’s Black Magic, Katrina Hazzard-Donald’s “Mojo Workin” are some really good ones.
The Faces of the Gods by Leslie G. Desmangles, a book recommended to me by a Vodou priestess
Broadly interpreting, to bring in other Afro-Diasporic religions:
Patrick Bellegarde-Smith and Claudine Michel, _Haitian Vodou: Spirit, Myth, and Reality_
Kamari Maxine Clarke, _Mapping Yorùbá Networks: Power and Agency in the Making of Transnational Communities_
Yvonne Daniel, _Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahian Candomblé_
Katherine Dunham, _Island Possessed_
Rachel E Harding, _A Refuge in Thunder: Candomblé and Alternative Spaces of Blackness_
Tracey E. Hucks, _Yoruba Traditions and African American Religious Nationalism_
J. Lorand Matory, _Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé_
Luisah Teish, _Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals_
Mikelle Smith Omari-Tunkara, _Manipulating the Sacred: Yorùbá Art, Ritual, and Resistance in Brazilian Candomblé_
Marta Moreno Vega, _The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria_
Tobe Melora Correal, Finding Soul on the Path of Orisa —- focuses on inner spirituality in the tradition. (She thanks her ex-wife and Saidiya Hartman in the intro!)
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
If you want to fix the male literary crisis, here’s your solution:
Become a feminist.
Hobbes’s Leviathan -
Morely’s Universal Library period embossed decorative covers
late 19th century
Just finished reading the Color Purple by Alice Walker. Gripping read, had me hooked onto the last page. Left me in tears by the last word.
i want to open a book store that is 24 hours and people can finally go out at like 2am and be like “i just finished the first book in the series i need the next one stat” or if people are just having a stressful night and want to be surrounded by books
My favorite part about this post is that someone understands that it’s calming to be surrounded by books