“THE CARIBBEAN PANTHEON: GODDESSES & THE DIVINE IN CARIBBEAN SPIRITUALITY”

SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER, 2022

4:00 PM THE CARIBBEAN PANTHEON: GODDESSES AND THE DIVINE IN CARIBBEAN SPIRITUALITY

Hosted by Katia D. Ulysse in conversation with Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

Location: Plaza at 300 Ashland, 85 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Event Description:

This conversation is meant to cast a wider net across and about Afro-Caribbean spirituality and the function of friendships between women as a life-raft during the slave era and how that tradition of close friendships persists within Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora socities in the present. In Dahlma’s deeply evocative novel, A Woman of Endurance, we come to experience and appreciate the lesser-heralded practice of solidarity on Caribbean sugar plantations, a welcome reprieve from the more widely known stories of betrayal, suspicion and personal ambition among the enslaved. Fomented by the inherently divisive and corrosive plantation society and the competition for the affections of the free white male in a brokerage of power, history inflates the presence of mistrust among women.

In Dahlma’s novel, her protagonist, Pola, finds healing and nourishment in the arms of a closely-knit sorority of enslaved women on a Puerto Rican plantation and is nursed back to physical, emotional and spiritual health by her encounters with their love and unceasing kindness, even when Pola herself understandably acts unlovable and rebuffs their goodwill.

Food is a love language in this sweeping vista of gorgeous storytelling as is the reverence for African (Yoruba) belief forms in the lush vividness of Llanos-Figueroa's writing. As Pola confronts and sheds the pain of her brutal experiences, she makes her way back to the spiritual gifts and connection she was born with and gives herself permission to be free.

Food is a love language in this sweeping vista of gorgeous storytelling as is the reverence for African (Yoruba) belief forms in the lush vividness of Llanos-Figueroa’s writing. As Pola confronts and sheds the pain of her brutal experiences, she makes her way back to the spiritual gifts and connection she was born with and gives herself permission to be free.

In this conversation and using the novel as the foundation upon which this dialogue is built, writer/host Katia D. Ulysees, will lead Dahlma in a conversation about the ideas of the African sacred feminine, the divine and sisterhood in Caribbean culture and this book which itself reads as a love letter to Afro-Boricuas.

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