Jenyffer Nascimento’s Epic Poetry of Black Female Empowerment

Sarah Ohmer


This article presents results of auto-ethnography, literary analysis, and fieldwork research to answer an underlying, perhaps unresolved, concern, relevant to this dossier: how can we produce an ethical dialogue as transnational Black Feminists, among Black Brazilian women, and North American Black women, in an ethical manner, while realizing that one may (not ever) be a part of the “carnival without you in it.” Fertile Earth/ Terra Fertil tells a long overdue epic story to an audience within the poetry: Black women, family members, other times a Black man, Brazil, white women, or “you,” undefined. Joy to pain to chaos, sensuality, and ritual, stages of grief to empowerment in a poetic ritual of carnivalesque journey from the heart of the Northeast of Brazil in Pernambuco to the underbelly of Sao Paulo. In We are Rooted Here and They Can’t Pulls Us Up, Bristow et al. demonstrate the multi-generational presence and intellectual production of Black women in Canada. Nascimento’s epic poetry undoes 500 years of policies that have attempted to silence Black women as invisible, unemployed, objectified, infertile (Cidinha DA SILVA, 2014, 113). Black women’s voices echo out of a literary canyon that extends all the way to Canada, a neoliberal rift that keeps Black women out. Each poem analyzed in this article directs conveys challenges relating to Black affect and desire, heteronormativity in the Black Brazilian Movement, and Black women in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and in the Americas.


21sr Century Poetry, Literature, Cannon, Carnival, Black Movement in Brazil, Neoliberalism, Auto-ethnography, Epic Genre

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ISSN eletrônico: 1984-5677

ISSN impresso: 1519-0994