She shivered, standing naked as they splashed her with cold water to wash the paint off her young body. She began quietly singing of her ancestors.
Her captors ignored her song. Believing she had special powers, they hung her cage from the ceiling of the cave. Only kings could see her. Why?
When Europeans waged war with African societies, it was not just for their resources – but also to find and enslave oracles like her. Believed to be from a matriarchal society of powerful seers, African women with the gift of prophecy, this theft of women and girls like her was one of the biggest secrets of ancient and modern slave trades.
She knew she had to be strong as the men circled her cage. But she had a secret.
Her real power lay in her spiritual strength gained from her ancestors. If she couldn’t gain her freedom, she could do something maybe much more important.
She kept the spirit and memory of our ancestors alive in songs, thus liberating her own spirit! Like moments of oppression in our history, her songs were ways of passing down our ancestral power! Like this oracle, despite obstacles, Black women can use their spirituality for liberation, calling upon our ancestors when we’re in need of strength. The oracles’ magic still exists within us!
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