Above: Kameelah Martin dressed in traditional white attire worn by initiates of the Yoruba religion. Initiates wear all white for a year as well as for a week after undergoing the Yoruba initiation. White symbolizes a rebirth. (Photo by Catie Cleveland)
Kameelah Martin, dean of the Graduate School and professor of African American studies and English at the College of Charleston, has spent the last 10 years researching the ancient Yoruba religion of West Africa, a religious practice that came to the Americas during the transatlantic slave trade. The practice has flourished in places with large Catholic communities like Cuba, a country that is known for having the most pristine practice outside of Nigeria.