The CLR James Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1/2, Fall 2022

Elisabeth PaquetteOrcid-ID
Pages 61-83

Ceremonies of Liberation: On Wynter and Solidarity

The focus of this essay is Sylvia Wynter’s conception of ceremony. I argue that ceremonies provide the conditions for a new conception of what it means to be human, that is no longer hierarchical. As such, both ceremonies and this new human are necessary for processes of liberation. In order to be liberatory, however, ceremonies must be place-based and yet fluid and mobile, are steeped in history and are thrust into the future, depend upon community, and impact daily experiences. I argue that employing the best aspects of ceremony can provide the tools for developing coalitional movements, which are often already employed by Black and Indigenous communities. I call this process ceremonies of liberation.