Conjure Women: The Importance of the African-American Woman’s Fight Against Racism…..By Priestess Mona Reeves
Posted on Sunday 28 May 2006
Below is an excerpt from my masterâ€™s thesis Conjure Women: The Importance of the African-American Womanâ€™s Fight Against Racism. It refers to Cassandra Wilson and her Blue Light â€˜til Dawn CD. I ran across part of it unexpectedly and was quite inspired, so inspired that I did not want to keep it to myself, and so I am sharing it with you. The portion in italics touched my heart today and I am grateful that God saw fit to channel such words through me.
She has embodied the spirit of Sankofa- going back to learn from the past in order to move forward in the future-and even has an acapella chant on Blue Light that she created herself entitled â€œSankofa.â€ This song is a call to the ancestors for guidance and strength, an acknowledgement of their power.
Oh Sankofa, high in the heavens youâ€™ve soared,
My Soul wants to follow you,
Back to yesterdayâ€™s moon,
Will it remember me?
Back to yesterdayâ€™s sun,
It will rekindle me.
Rekindle the spirit into tomorrow and high on the wind,
Sankofa flies again and again.
Wilson performs all the vocal parts, creating intricate harmonies with a hauntingly spiritual quality. It has the hum of Negro spirituals, the drumbeat of Africa. It is a call for connectionâ€”connection to the past, present, and future. It is a powerful reminder of the power and the strength of the African spirit which lies inside African Americans. It is a call to awaken that spirit in those who are unaware of its presence and a boost of support to those already connected. It is about touching the heart, opening up to the light, and living in the world from a place of power. It is a call to shed the victim role, release occupation of the place of the downtrodden, and claim our rightful place in the scheme of the human landscape. It is about being a Conjure Woman; taking energy, stirring it up, and creating positive change with it.