cover of book

Mayaya Rising: Black Female Icons in Latin American and Caribbean Literature and Culture
by Dawn Duke
Bucknell University Press, 2023
Paper: 978-1-68448-438-6 | eISBN: 978-1-68448-442-3 | Cloth: 978-1-68448-439-3
Library of Congress Classification PQ7081.5.D85 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 860.9352208996

Who are the Black heroines of Latin America and the Caribbean? Where do we turn for models of transcendence among women of African ancestry in the region? In answer to the historical dearth of such exemplars, Mayaya Rising explores and celebrates the work of writers who intentionally center powerful female cultural archetypes. In this inventive analysis, Duke proposes three case studies and a corresponding womanist methodology through which to study and rediscover these figures. The musical Cuban-Dominican sisters and former slaves Teodora and Micaela Ginés inspired Aida Cartagena Portalatin’s epic poem Yania tierra; the Nicaraguan matriarch of the May Pole, “Miss Lizzie,” figures prominently in four anthologies from the country’s Bluefields region; and the iconic palenqueras of Cartagena, Colombia are magnified in the work of poets María Teresa Ramírez Neiva and Mirian Díaz Pérez. In elevating these figures and foregrounding these works, Duke restores and repairs the scholarly record.
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