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A Book Review of Dòwòti Désir’s ‘Goud Kase Goud: Conjuring Memory in Spaces of the AfroAtlantic’

book imageIn too many instances, the historical narrative of Africa and its people is falsified and silenced despite its global richness and ubiquitous manifestation. However, the richness and ubiquitous manifestation of a global African presence is skillfully illustrated in Mambo Dòwòti Désir’s Goud Kase Goud: Conjuring Memory in Spaces of the AfroAtlantic.

In her debut book, Désir, who is also a world renowned Pan-African scholar and human rights activist, brings forth an enriching and powerful historical narrative of Africa and its people.

As such, in Goud Kase Goud, Désir breaks historical falsifications with facts by way of her scholarly prudence, system analysis, and historical reasoning. Moreover, in Goud Kase Goud, Désir breaks socio-political taciturnity with socio-political vocalization by perspicaciously cataloguing, surveying, and giving voice to the voiceless when she communicates to the ancestors as exhibited in her photographic exhibitions.

Similarly, the ancestors also communicate to her within a sacred space along a sequential experience and within an indefinite, continuous relationship. Therefore, Goud Kase Goud is the ancestors’ shared conversation with Désir. To the same degree, as a Haitian mambo, it is also Désir’s shared ancestral conversation with the global African community.

In addition to telling our story, Goud Kase Goud is a magnificent display of over 70 photographs of our Maafa. Thus, for her distinguished and appropriately documented book on our historical experience along with her distinguished example of photography, Désir warrants a Pulitzer Prize for Goud Kase Goud.

In such an undertaking, Désir is commissioned by a higher force (the African ancestors and the living spirit in all of us along with those yet to be born) to further empower the global African community. Désir validates the global African presence by engaging us in a historical and philosophical synthesis by her use of a Pan-African historiography and her dexterity in photojournalism.

As a mambo, scholar, human rights activist and photojournalist, Désir also validates the philosophical core of the worldwide African personality by asking the following philosophical questions: who are we (ontology); how do we know what we know (epistemology)?; and what is our value system (axiology)?

Désir’s answers to the following queries are embedded in Goud Kase Goud, which is a must-read and a highly recommended book that successfully redlines our Maafa and judiciously memorializes our ancestors by conjuring memories in African spaces at home and abroad.

Goud Kase Goud: Conjuring Memory in Spaces of the AfroAtlantic by Dòwòti Désir will debut on June 28 at Queens Central Library’s Auditorium from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm. Queens Central Library is located at 89-11 Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens. For further information regarding this lecture and book signing, please contact Queens Central Library at 718-990-0770.

Professor Patrick Delices is a Pan-African scholar who taught the History of Haiti, Caribbean Politics, African-American Politics, and African-Caribbean International Relations at Hunter College and served as a research fellow at Columbia University for the late, Pulitzer Prize historian, Manning Marable. Professor Delices can be reached at [email protected].


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