Daughters of the African Diaspora: Afra-Hispanic Writers

By Hampton, Janet Jones | Afro - Hispanic Review, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

Daughters of the African Diaspora: Afra-Hispanic Writers


Hampton, Janet Jones, Afro - Hispanic Review


Daughters of the African Diaspora: Afra-Hispanic Writers. Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2003. 553 pp.

To the delight of readers and researchers, this long-awaited volume on Afra-Hispanic writers has arrived. It has been eagerly anticipated since word of its inception spread among the world of Afro-Hispanists a few years ago. This high level of anticipation was due not only to the subject matter of this book, but also to the reputation of its editor, Miriam DeCosta-Willis, the editor of the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic literature, Blacks in Hispanic Literature, published in 1977, on which most scholars of the field "cut their teeth." This text, in addition to her edition on the work of Nancy Morejon, Singular Like a Bird, published in 1999, along with numerous articles on Afro-Hispanic literature published in a variety of literary journals, makes her readily acknowledged as one of the most influential voices in the field of Afro-Hispanic studies. The fine quality of her shaping and editing a scholarly text is evident once again in Daughters of the Diaspora.

The term "Afra-Hispanic" is explained in the preface of the text. DeCosta-Willis notes that it "characterises hispanophone women of African descent" and is adapted from the adjective "Afra-American" coined by Joanne M. Braxton and Andree Nicola McLaughlin in their anthology Wild Women in the Whirlwind: AfraAmerican Culture and the Contemporary Literary Renaissance.

DeCosta-Willis indicates in her preface that this book "will continue the archaeological project of excavating, preserving and disseminating the writing of African-descended women by examining their work within a critical context." She identifies her intended audience as "anglophone readers who enjoy the literature of other countries,...students who want to expand their cultural horizons, ... teachers intent on enriching the experiences of their students and ... scholars who are open to new and challenging research opportunities." Undoubtedly it will engage the interest of each of these constituencies.

Daughters of the Diaspora is composed of a treasure chest of creative writing, including the essays, fiction, testimonials and poetry of twenty Afra-Hispanic writers from widely-ranging areas of the Hispanic world, including Equatorial Guinea. …

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