Sheila Smith McKoy, PhD, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, co-edited and contributed to Recovering the African Feminine Divine in Literature, the Arts, and Practice: Yemonja Awakening, part of The Black Atlantic Cultural Series: Revisioning Artistic, Historical, Literary, Psychological, and Sociological Perspectives.
“Recovering the African Feminine Divine in Literature, the Arts, and Performing Arts: Yemonja Awakening provides context to the myriad ways in which the African feminine divine is being reclaimed by scholars, practitioners and cultural scholars worldwide. This volume addresses the complex ways in which the reclamation of and recognition of Yemonja facilitates cultural survival and the formation of African-centric identity. These cultural practices are symbolically represented by Yemonja, the African female deity who is the mother of the entire world of the Orisha. Also known as Yemaya, Iemanya and Yemaya-Olokun, Yemonja is the deity whose province is the ocean and, given that the Middle Passage was the cultural and spatial crossroad to Africa’s numerous diasporas, this deity links the shared histories of African and African–descent cultural praxis worldwide. Since Yemonja also references sexual, creative, spatial and spiritual energies, the editors and contributors see her as pivotal to this project as an expansive and original cartography of impact of the African feminine divine globally. This work provides the context for understanding how the spiritual conceptualizations of the African feminine divine underpin critical cultural forms, even when it has been previously unacknowledged and despite the cultural encounters with European and Western models of being. Scholars of African diaspora studies and the arts will find this book particularly interesting.”