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Shallow Waters: Anita Kopacz in conversation with Dr. Velma Love, moderated by Forrest Evans

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

Charis welcomes Anita Kopacz in conversation with Dr. Velma Love for a celebration of Shallow Waters: A Novel, moderated by AARL Librarian, Forrest Evans. In this stirring and lyrical debut novel—perfect for fans of The Water Dancer and the Legacy of Orïsha series—the Yoruba deity of the sea, Yemaya, is brought to vivid life as she discovers the power of Black resilience, love, and feminine strength in antebellum America. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.  

Shallow Waters imagines Yemaya, an Orïsha—a deity in the religion of Africa’s Yoruba people—cast into mid-1800s America. We meet Yemaya as a young woman, still in the care of her mother and not yet fully aware of the spectacular power she possesses to protect herself and those she holds dear.

The journey laid out in Shallow Waters sees Yemaya confront the greatest evils of this era; transcend time and place in search of Obatala, a man who sacrifices his own freedom for the chance at hers; and grow into the powerful woman she was destined to become. We travel alongside Yemaya from her native Africa and on to the “New World,” with vivid pictures of life for those left on the outskirts of power in the nascent Americas.

Yemaya realizes the fighter within, travels the Underground Railroad in search of the mysterious stranger Obatala, and crosses paths with icons of our history on the road to freedom. Shallow Waters is a nourishing work of ritual storytelling from promising debut author Anita Kopacz.

Anita Kopacz is an award-winning writer and spiritual advisor. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Heart & Soul Magazine and Managing Editor of BeautyCents Magazine. When she is not writing, you can find her on the dance floor or traveling the world with her children. Anita lives in New York City with her family.

Velma E. Love, Ph.D. is a public intellectual whose research and writing centers on African spirituality, ancestral memory and cultural healing. Author of Divining the Self: a Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness (Penn State University Press, 2012), she conducted extensive fieldwork at Oyotunji African Village in Sheldon, SC.  Her work is driven by a profound interest in narrative strategies for personal and social transformation. She is the creator of Kaleidoscope, a community storytelling project, and Ancestral Story Healing, a meditative practice for addressing troubling family patterns transmitted across generations.

Dr. Love is a descendant of the Temne people of Sierra Leone, the Balanta of Guinea Bissau, and the Mukua of Mozambique, via the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. She grew up in the Southeastern United Sates, where her formative years were shaped by storytelling, social activism, and a clarion call to the journey of a change maker. 

Forrest Evans is an Atlanta-based, licensed librarian working at the Auburn Avenue Research Library. Evans has worked in various libraries from Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the south to special collections and television. The avid DC Comic Book collector combating under education, and fighting for gender equality. Their love for reading fuels my passion to circulate Black and Queer Literature, and resources. 

The low country native, also known for her published poetry in Pen+BrushLavender Review: Lesbian Poetry and Art TQ Review: A Journal of Trans and Queer Voices, and The Apogee Journal.  When the poet is not in the library, they are with their Queer Tribe combating xenophobia or sharing joy. For more information about Evans, visit favoritelibrarian.com or their official social media. Pronouns: They/Them or She/Her.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Shallow Waters: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982179663
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria/Black Privilege Publishing - August 3rd, 2021

“Spellbinding...A captivating debut.” —Harper’s Bazaar

In this stirring and lyrical debut novel—perfect for fans of The Water Dancer and the Legacy of Orïsha series—the Yoruba deity of the sea, Yemaya, is brought to vivid life as she discovers the power of Black resilience, lo


Divining the Self: A Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness (Signifying (On) Scriptures #1) Cover Image
$29.94
ISBN: 9780271054063
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penn State University Press - November 15th, 2014

Divining the Self weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices.


Event Summary: 
In this stirring and lyrical debut novel—the Yoruba deity of the sea, Yemaya, is brought to vivid life as she discovers the power of Black resilience, love, and feminine strength in antebellum America.