African Spiritual Culture in America

Photographs and Text © Marilyn Nance


I’ve been working on Spirit Faith Grace Rage: African Spiritual Culture in America for many years and have discovered that there is trauma behind the spirit, the faith, the grace and the rage.

I am investigating the nature of trauma, responses to terror, and the necessity of recovery.


In my reading about the commonalities between victims of child abuse and victims of political terror, combat veterans and rape survivors, survivors of concentrations camps and survivors of abuse in their homes, I realized more and more that my work was in response to the needs of a traumatized group—Africans in America.


—and that my response as a photographer, storyteller, and community activist was the recovery effort of a person who herself has experienced trauma.

The African experience in America is one of captivity and terror. We have been physically enslaved, traumatized, psychically wounded.

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Photographs and Text © Marilyn Nance
All Rights Reserved.