Black History Month Celebration

In celebration of Black History Month, Champlain College is screening Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil, alongside its companion photography exhibit, Goddesses of Nature. The event will take place on February 26 in the Alumni Auditorium.

The 2015 documentary is directed by Donna Carole Roberts and narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. The film is also a winner of five best documentary awards. Gerald Lee Hoffman’s photographs were taken during the production of the film.

Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil explores the Afro-Brazilian culture, worldview, and spiritual practice of Candomblé through the voices of their dynamic elder women leaders. A powerful legacy of enslaved Africans forced to Brazil during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Candomblé embodies universal wisdom and values.

The title Yemanjá honors the Yoruba/Brazilian Goddess of the oceans and sea, considered sacred in Candomblé. Devotees revere elders, ancestors, the natural world, and spiritual forces or guides known as Orixás. Addressing history, social and environmental justice, and the power of faith and community, the film tells a compelling story for our times.

The screening and exhibit will take place on Wednesday, February 26 in Champlain College’s Alumni Auditorium. There will be a reception from 5:30-6:30 pm, where Hoffman’s photography will be exhibited. Yemanjá will be screened from 6:45-8:30 pm, followed by a Q&A with Producer/Director Roberts and Champlain professor Stephen Wehmeyer.

This event is sponsored by the Division of Communication and Creative Media, with the support of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Office of International Education.

Erika Skorstad ’21—Contributor