“Neber ‘spise a bridge dat carries you safely ober.” ~ Gullah Proverb
Superwomen & Goddesses is a literary enigma locating itself somewhere between a conversation amongst friends put to historical record and a compact workbook of ideas for internal development. The tome changes direction often throughout each of its eight sections enveloping a central thesis which is neither initially clear nor fully vetted when the reading is finished. This informal layout can occasionally lend itself to confusion as each section operates mostly independent of the others forming a puzzle which requires some assembly before the meaning of the total picture becomes apparent.
While I found these things problematic in fully understanding the text, they were overshadowed by the utter sincerity, openness and mother wit Akua displayed within each passage. She employs a deeply internal dialogue which conveys the idea that she is on a journey in her own right. This selection is a mere travelogue of things she has encountered along the way. Its conclusions are not immutable and present findings may be amended by a new discovery tomorrow.
Central to its function as a workbook is how it employs white space as an area for personal reflection. As the reader engages each section of the text, they are encouraged to record their reactions directly within the pages such that their own experiences become an integral part of the recorded journey. When combined with personal insight from her childhood, adult relationships and working as a makeup artist in the entertainment industry, there are many lessons to be extracted from these conversations on living for personal empowerment through introspection and self interrogation.
Of particular significance in my reading was the eighth section entitled “The Vision” which outlined 25 actions that the reader could take to resurrect the sacred Black Afrakan feminine. In seeking to move beyond metaphysical doctrine in favor of examining the real world implications of my actions, I found these 25 items to be a fitting manifesto for those who desired to implement in their own life practices which emphasize self love, advance more expansive beauty standards and revisit what constitutes respect for women and girls.
Superwomen & Goddesses was amongst the first set of texts which I selected for review long before I had the notion that writing reviews was something I would enjoy doing on a regular basis. During the time since I first encountered the work some two years ago, my orientation on many of the principles held therein has shifted drastically upending much of my personal sense of the ethereal. In light of my familiarity with the work of the author and its critical necessity in healing the self image of others and building community around an inward facing, outward flowing sense of beauty, I am reminded that even in my growing skepticism there is still a little magic left in this world when humans cooperate to create it.