In Sensuous Knowledge, Minna Salami draws on Africa-centric, feminist-first and artistic traditions to help us rediscover inclusive and invigorating ways of experiencing the world afresh.
Combining the playfulness of a storyteller with the insight of a social critic, the book pries apart the systems of power and privilege that have dominated ways of thinking for centuries – and which have led to so much division, prejudice and damage. And it puts forward a new, sensuous, approach to knowledge: one grounded in a host of global perspectives – from Black Feminism to personal narrative, pop culture to high art, Western philosophy to African mythology – together comprising a vision of hope for a fragmented world riven by crisis.
Through the prism of this new knowledge, Salami offers fresh insights into the key cultural issues that affect women’s lives. How are we to view Sisterhood, Motherhood or even Womanhood itself? What is Power and why do we conceive of Beauty? How does one achieve Liberation? She asks women to break free of the prison made by ingrained male-centric biases, and build a house themselves – a home that can nurture us all.
Sensuous Knowledge confirms Minna Salami as one the most important spokespeople of today, and the arrival of a blistering new literary voice.
'Sensuous Knowledge is a probing, challenging and imaginative book that dares position black feminism as the prism through which we can all better experience and understand the world. I read it slowly, savouring it as intellectual soul food, while relishing the richness of Minna Salami's ideas and the persuasiveness of her writing. This book is an important addition to the feminist canon in that it shifts our world view and introduces new and exciting possibilities for ways of being that feel liberating.'Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other 'In this provocative and vital book, Minna Salami, in elegant prose and lucid arguments, centers the black female body and experience at the heart of global feminist discourse. Employing African myth, religious and cultural traditions, the historical presences and accomplishments of women in African history and spaces of power, and the modes and practices of feminism from the continent, she interrogates the facts of history. Accounting for the omissions for and by patriarchy, adjusting for the neglect of white feminism, she confronts the central privilege of modern thought, which is that men represent the default human experience. She attempts a new way of thinking, cataloging, archiving, and accounting for black female experiences by black women in this new century. Inclusive, rigorous in process and thought, she has created a strong and important testament, the map perhaps, for now and the future.'Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas and The Virgin of Flames 'A timely, refreshing, nourishing and captivating read. In the era of ever-widening division and cultural strife, Sensuous Knowledge urges us to rethink power, sisterhood, beauty, Identity and more. A crucial read which through the sharing of African-centered approaches alleviate political and social frustrations. On these pages there really is something to learn for everyone.' Ayishat Akanbi, writer and cultural commentator 'Sensuous Knowledge is an opulent symphony of progressive ideas, vast and astonishing as it is detailed and specific, from one who has lived multiple lives and realities. Drawing from Audre Lorde to Socrates, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, to Nipsey Hustle, Orunmila to Gloria Steinem and so many more, Minna Salami mixes her lived experience into a deeply considered and tempered tide that swells with wisdom, that challenges, defines and redefines various parts of our unbalanced and gendered world. It is an emotive text, that emanates with love, which, by looking at who we have been and how we became, begs us to search ourselves for who we might yet become.' Inua Ellams, poet & playwright 'This book is an eloquent melange of ideas and disciplines; part deep, intersectional analysis of structural power, part metaphysical journey into a genius the West hasn't given language to. An essential read for a new decade.' Johny Pitts, author of Afropean: Notes from Black Europe 'Sensuous Knowledge is a glorious addition to the many feminist manifestos we live for.' Brittle Paper
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