Kimpa Vita, the “African Joan of Arc,” directly influenced slaves brought to America
By Jason Kitchen
The Marked, an independent press in Oklahoma, has just released R.S. Basi’s second novel, Convictions of Faith.
Convictions of Faith chronicles how Kimpa Vita, sometimes called the “African Joan of Arc,” challenged and nearly toppled the powerful Catholic Church in Kongo. She also is considered to be a prefigure to modern African democracy movements and the “Mother of African Revolution.”
In Convictions of Faith, Basi describes the political intrigue, betrayals of love and faith, and moral dilemmas that led to Kimpa Vita’s trial and ultimate demise. The novel explores the dichotomies of murder, ambition and betrayal in pre-colonial Africa, and offers a glimpse into the powerful forces and compromises in morality that fueled the commerce of slavery. To provide cultural context critical to discerning the truth about Kimpa Vita’s life, Convictions of Faith offers an Afro-centric perspective on actual events recorded by Portuguese missionaries.
To understand African-American history, one must also understand African history. In the case of Kimpa Vita, her life’s mission impacted the course of history in Africa and America. She was the progenitor of the African Independent Church movement, which sought to reconcile African spiritual faith with the Euro-centric teachings of the Catholic Church. Claiming to be the reincarnation of Saint Anthony, Kimpa Vita led a crusade for the dignity and equality of African culture and belief. Though burned at the stake for heresy, she started a movement that could be discerned thousands of miles and hundreds of years away. Kimpa Vita’s influence is difficult to overstate. Indeed, her rallying cry was heard in Georgia’s 1739 Stono Rebellion, one of the largest slave uprisings in the British colonies, giving her life a direct connection to American history.
Basi’s first novel, The Black Hand of God, was called “[a] much needed history in a great book” by Cyrus Webb of Conversations Live!, and “an overwhelming, awe-inspiring account [of her life]…to be read and absorbed, which will leave you thirsting for more” — by the RAWSISTAZ reviewers. During the year of its release, it reached #1 in three categories of download for Amazon’s Kindle.
With Convictions of Faith, the Marked continues its quest to bring more real-life African heroines to public awareness. Learn more or preorder at www.theblackhandofgod.com.