any info on artist/location?
According to the NYT’s 2010 article, “Out of Ruin, Haiti’s Visionaries,” this is ‘“Ezili Danto,’ a female voodoo deity, by the sculptor André Eugène in Haiti.”
Stanley Rayfield, “Yemaja Angelou,” 2014
Leaving is not enough. You must stay gone. Train your heart like a dog. Change the locks even on the house he’s never visited. You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them. You had to have him. And you did. And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever altar you fashion… Don’t lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street. — Frida Kahlo (via shiftinconsciousness)
(Source: strange-bloom, via blackfoxx)
Gloria & Allen.
Her: Dark lips, old jazz, Chanel No. 5.
Him: Boyish charm, old reggae, old school.
Hey grandparents….thanks for the good genes. And yes, they are still this cute. <3
This is Joseph Seraphim Fortes (aka “Joe Fortes”), a beloved figure in the early history of Vancouver, Canada. He was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1863 and arrived in the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver abroad the Robert Kerr in 1885. At first he lived in a tent on the beach at English Bay, finding work variously as a shoeshiner and porter at the Sunnyside Hotel and bartender at the Bodega Saloon. He eventually settled into a cottage by the beach, where he appointed himself as lifeguard, spending most of his time patrolling the beach and teaching children to swim. He became known as English Bay Joe and was tremendously popular, especially with children.
In 1900, he was appointed by the City of Vancouver as its first official lifeguard; ten years later, the City honored him for his many years of service with a gold watch, a cheque, and an illuminated address. When he died in 1922, the City held its largest-ever funeral procession in his memory. Five years later, a Joe Fortes memorial monument was erected in Alexandra Park. In 1976, the Joe Fortes Branch of the Vancouver Public Library was named in his honor, and in 1986, during the City’s centennial year, the Vancouver Historical Society named Joe Fortes as Citizen of the Century. Not bad for a guy who just wanted to live on the beach and teach children to swim.
(February 9, 1863 - February 4, 1922)
My great-grandfather, Emiliano Obret Vinent. He was a tailor in Guantánamo, Cuba, danced well, and sang in a small son band; my great-aunt remembers “Capullito de Alelí” as a lullaby. His mother was called ‘M’asunción’ and his grandmother, Teresa Maletá, had been a slave. He peppered his speech with Kreyòl words gleaned from members of the Haitian community in Oriente, but wed a Spanish-born midwife not infrequently aroused from her slumber to assist laboring women. He fathered several children by her, and by at least one beloved other.
Surrounding Emiliano are mysteries: his precise location during the last War of Independence (1895–1898); appetite for eating pinches of azúcar straight from the sugar bowl; and candid opinion of his son-in-law, the cocksure cockfighter (my grandfather, whose birthday was—or would have been—today). The way that photos of his brown face tend to go missing in my family is not one of them.
Originally posted on a May 10th, now—as then—for the kin folks.
Eric P. Rice explains in “Blacks on Display: The Political Economy of Candomblé,”
As early as 1974, when candomblé terreiros were still required to register all festivals with the police, BahiaTursa (the state tourism agency) published a book entitled The Bahian Orixás (Orixás da Bahia)…The book argues that the tourist was most responsible for popularizing, legitimizing, and raising candomblé up out of persecution…and the English section of the book states that with the help of the book the tourist will be able to understand all s/he might see of candomblé…
Candomblé was harshly repressed by the state throughout the first four decades of this century and only tolerated through the 1970s. Stories abound about police raids on terreiros, the seizing of ritual objects, and the destruction of temples. Many of the seized objects are still on display at the Estácio de Lima Museum (Museu Estácio de Lima, formerly called the Museum of Criminal Anthropology), next to displays of murder weapons, drug paraphernalia, counterfeiting equipment, articles used in gambling, the skulls of murder victims, and preserved, deformed fetuses…The emphasis on candomblé as a tourist attraction suggests the cynical explanation that the state saw in candomblé solely an opportunity to promote a new industry. There is some truth to this explanation…
Anonymous asked: My name is Orlando Obret, same as my father I was born in Guantanamo, Oriente Cuba on October 29, 1956, I believe we could be kin folks
Mucho gusto, Orlando! Oriente would definitely be a place we share in common. I’m sorry to say I’m not exactly sure to what ancestor I owe the Obret; there seems to have been an Obret married (or attached to) a Ma’sunción, who gave birth to the Emiliano Vinent I mentioned in a post a couple of years ago. My mother was Riveron Obret before marriage. I’ve tried finding the name Obret in genealogical records to pin down the origin but have not gotten very far. Any information you have would be much appreciated. Kinfolk or no, thanks for reaching out!
"Tante," a mambo or elder in the Vodou tradition, in the Batey [sugar cane workers’ community] Isabela by Tino Soriano, 2001
In the Dominican Republic, lured by false promises of employment, Haitians end up working in the sugar cane harvest, also called “la zafra,” between December and June. They do it under working conditions that violate all international laws…
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_
Dianne M. Stewart [Diakité], _Three Eyes for the Journey: African Dimensions of the Jamaican Religious Experience_
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_
Lorna McDaniel, _The Big Drum Ritual of Carriacou: Praisesongs for Rememory of Flight_
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_
Jason R. Young, _Rituals of Resistance: African Atlantic Religion in Kongo and the Lowcountry South in the Era of Slavery_
"Guadeloupe woman," by Augustus Sherman, ca 1906-10.