Caribbean Queens: Bridges between the world of the living and the realm of souls

Jennifer Carolina Gómez Menjívar

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This analysis arises out of the need to examine Caribbean homelands as spaces wherein the ghosts of slavery are the foundation for black ontologies and epistemologies. This note is specifically concerned with women's sense of self as spiritual leader, vested with the power to serve as a bridge between ancestral spirits and the living members of their communities. It takes a comparative perspective as it examines Simone Schwartz-Bart's Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle (Guadeloupe, 1972) and Anacristina Rossi's Limón Blues (Costa Rica, 2002). The texts present powerful healer-women against a lush landscape wherein the community's inhabitants still amble about as if in shackles. As I demonstrate, these Caribbean queens begin as motherless children and are transformed into women whose complicity with spirits and nature enable them to establish life-giving narratives for those they nourish with their hearts and hands. Spiritual narratives become the bedrock of an Afro-Caribbean philosophy, one that was wrested away from enslaved ancestors in the dark underbellies of ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Caribbean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalRomance Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.


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