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Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women’s
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Donna Aza Weir-Soley

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033778

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033778.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Erotics of Change

The Erotics of Change

Female Sexuality, Afro-Caribbean Spirituality, and a “Postmodern” Caribbean Identity in It Begins with Tears

(p.141) 4 The Erotics of Change
Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women’s Writings

Donna Aza Weir-Soley

University Press of Florida

Opal Palmer Adisa's first novel, It Begins with Tears, represents a more contemporary revision of the Janie paradigm. Set in a fictional village in rural Jamaica, Adisa's novel interrogates contesting ideologies and values vis-à-vis notions of progress and modernity in the late twentieth century. Adisa's text uses a female-centered, Afro–Caribbean spirituality as the bridge between two competing ideologies (modernity and tradition) whose oppositional imperatives threaten the cohesion and stability of the community. Drawing upon the syncretic religious traditions of Jamaica, Adisa uses strong female characters modeled after West African orishas and linked with nature to demonstrate the coterminous relationship between individual female empowerment and sociopolitical viability for the community. Adisa's codification of the erotic as both spiritual and sexual energy takes place at several levels within the text.

Keywords:   Opal Palmer Adisa, Jamaica, female empowerment, sexual energy, Afro–Caribbean spirituality, modernity, tradition, orishas, female sexuality

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