In preparation for a presentation* on Ancestral Trauma at the Association of Black Psychologists Conference in Indianapolis in July, Drs. Bolden and Ball sat down for a skype interview with Dr. Maria Eliza Hamilton Bispo de Jesus Abegunde. Abegunde is an egungun (ancestral) priest in the Yoruba Orisa tradition and Reiki Master, a healer, birth and post partum doula, poet, writer, and Black Studies practitioner with a focus on the recovery of ancestral memory from the Earth and human body. Abegunde is the first doctorate from the African American and African Diaspora Studies department at Indiana University. The focus of the conversation ranged from howAbegunde came into the healing arts and learned to connect with ancestors, how to identify the point of origin for trauma among ancestors, and her teaching experiences on the sea travels of the Middle Passage. In another thread of the conversation, we traced her scholarly evolution in African studies and how she envisions conducting research in African women’s studies within the paradigm of Africana studies.
*The ABPsi presentation panelists include Dr. Bolden, Roberta Federico, Dr. Maria Eliza Hamilton (via skype), and Dr. Jamila Codrington. Audio may be available after July 20th, 2014.