This chapter begins by presenting a poem for Sara Baartman composed by Dianna Ferrus. Many believe that it was this poem that catalyzed Nelson Mandela into action to reclaim the remains of his countrywoman from France in 2002. This study proposes that the female characters studied herein are all engaged in a liberating poetics of eroticism that is predicated on the synthesis of the sexual and the spiritual. Without this balance, the real black women in popular culture can no more achieve full subjectivity than the fictional ones. Janie Crawford and her literary progenitors teach that the power of the erotic is the power to effect positive growth from the inside out, to transform not only inner lives but also material circumstances, and to access the divine power within in order to transform lives and communities.
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