Title: Shallow Waters 

Author: Anita Kopacz 

Genre: Historial Fiction and Fancy

Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns 

The Book 

“Shallow Waters” was a book I purposely read a few days before my birthday. During an interview on the Breakfast Club, Anita Kopacz spoke about the black mermaid Yameya, the main character in “Shallow Waters.” When listening to Kopacz explain who Yemaya was and how she watched over our enslaved ancestors during the travel of The Middle Passage (The stage of the Atlantic slave trade), I got excited. I am a big fan of Mythology, and I wanted to learn more about Yemaya. We learn so much about Greek Mythology in grade school and college to learn about African Mythology; we must educate ourselves.

“Shallow Waters” is the first novel written by Anita Kopacz. The story narrates Yemaya search for Obatala, and her search becomes a journey of learning about herself as she comes into womanhood and the power that she holds as a healer. Yemaya also learns that not every vision is to be shared and that growth comes from life experiences. To find her back to Obatala her true love, Yemaya is guided and helped by known historical figure Harriet Tubman . Kopacz also includes Richard Dillingham (conductor of The Underground Railroad) and Ralph Waldo Emerson ( Writer of The Over-soul), two historical figures I did not know before reading “Shallow Waters.” 

“My child, you are going into the vision that was meant for you only. Please respect our ancestors and say no more”

-Shallow Waters-

I would recommend “Shallow Waters” to raising Black Queens. Kopacz reminds Black Queens throughout Yemaya story that black women are healers to others, but it is also essential that we heal ourselves. During her “Breakfast Club” interview, Kopacz mentioned that this book should passed down to young queens. I agree the narration of African Mythology needs to continue to be a conversation in our Culture.

A Brief History.

If you are not familiar with Yemaya, here is a brief history.

Yemaya is an Orisha Goddess.

“Yemaya protects the upper surfaces of the ocean where the light reflects, and living things thrive. She oversees the waves and the myriad of life forms that call the ocean their home.” (The Orishas: Yemaya. Original Botanica. ) 

The Orishas: Yemaya. Original Botanica. (n.d.). Retrieved January 8, 2022, from https://www.originalbotanica.com/blog/yemaya-yemoja-orisha-santeria/

There are different ways to connect and celebrate Yemaya. “Visiting a source of water such as the ocean or a river is a good way to connect with Yemayá. Go to the beach, offer white flowers to Her, or leave the offerings near a river. Because her number is 7, a traditional offering consists of seven copper cents”. (Yemaya: Goddess symbols, correspondences, myth & offerings.) 

Yemaya: Goddess symbols, correspondences, myth & offerings. Spells8. (2021, August 18). Retrieved January 8, 2022, from https://spells8.com/lessons/yemaya-goddess/

The Bloom

On the weekend of my 33rd birthday, my inner voice spoke ” I want to be in the water. I need to feel the tide.” So on the way back from Orlando, my mom, my sister, and I stayed in Daytona, and the following day, we went to the beach.  

Prior to my birthday everything I knew to be consistent was inconsistent before getting to the beach. Things were happening in my life that I had no control over. I dreaded returning home from Daytona because I knew I would have to deal with change. When I put my feet in my water, I had a calm sense of peace. The only thing I could hear was the sound of the water.

I closed my eyes and whispered, “Thank you, thank you for reminding me that although the coming and going of the tide is consistent, there is still a change that takes place with every wave that I can not see. ” I opened my eyes, took a deep breath, and I knew everything was going to be OK at that very still moment.

Every year since, I have made sure that I am at a beach. Reading “Shallow Waters” bought everything in full bloom. I better understand why I feel such peace when I am at the beach. I feel restored to take on another year until I am at the beach again. It is because of Yemaya!