What would it mean for American and African American literary studies if readers took the spirituality and travel of Black women seriously? With Spirit Deep: Recovering the Sacred in Black Women’s Travel, Tisha Brooks addresses this question by focusing on three nineteenth-century Black women writers who merged the spiritual and travel narrative genres: Zilpha Elaw, Amanda Smith, and Nancy Prince. Brooks hereby challenges the divides between religious and literary studies, and between coerced and "free" passages within travel writing studies to reveal meaningful new connections in Black women’s writings. Bringing together both sacred and secular texts, Spirit Deep uncovers an enduring spiritual legacy of movement and power that Black women have claimed for themselves in opposition to the single story of the Black (female) body as captive, monstrous, and strange. Spirit Deep thus addresses the marginalization of Black women from larger conversations about travel writing, demonstrating the continuing impact of their spirituality and movements in our present world.

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