The Cleansing

The Cleansing


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Towards the end of the memoir the reader is taken to a place where the physical

and metaphysical intersect when the main character crosses paths

with a malevolent force, which almost causes her demise



The Cleansing

By Cheryl Gittens-Jones


The Cleansing, the first of two books, mirrors the phenomenon of colonialism via the life of protagonist Unis MonteClaire.  The poems written in bajan (dialect spoken in Barbados), diary excerpts and other writings, capture the author’s struggle to reconnect to her authentic self.  Traumatized repeatedly, she moves between two existences created to survive: one in light, the other in shadow. 

To tell the story she must disconnect from the pain while simultaneously reliving tragedies of the past.  In the melee following abusive childhood years, many of the true family stories were lost.  Intermingled with personal experience in some areas, the author chooses to create stories to fill gaps lost to trauma.  The Cleansing depicts the strength, courage, and perseverance of a black, West Indian, woman-centered family line, raising their children single-handedly while facing the dire consequences of the fractured black social family structure, which is the archaic legacy of colonialism.

— Publish America

The Cleansing,is a memoir steeped in the belief of Karma the law of cause and effect. It shows the mental, pyschic, psychological and physiological journey of a young Caribbean woman illegally migrating to the USA. She hopes to find healing by examining a violent and impoverished past in order to understand her present, and to create a more healthy, positive, and secure legacy for future generations.

Towards the end of the memoir the reader is taken to a place where the physical and metaphysical intersect when the main character crosses paths with a malevolent force, which almost causes her demise. She later reveals how her devotion to and belief in the law of Karma and Buddhism saved her life.

It has been a long and difficult journey to bring this story to the world but I have finally done so. My publisher believed my story was important and unique enough to invest in so that it can give others encouragement, inspiration and hope. 

The Cleansing, can be used as an educational tool to help shatter stereotypes that continue to distort our understanding on many levels. The work is written from an international and cross-cultural perspective.

–Cheryl Gittens-Jones

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The Cleansing, is also available through distributors Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Chapters, Canada, and on websites such as: Amazon, Yahoo, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Walmart

Cheryl’s play: Shaduhs Uh Voodoo at


Cheryl’s work


Cheryl Gittens-Jones is wife, mother, poet, author of  play Shaduhs Uh Voodoo. She plans to adopt twin nieces orphaned by AIDS. She migrated illegally to the USA in 1987 to pursue dreams of higher education.  Cheryl gained success and redemption through courage, tenacity, perseverance and faith in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.

In 1995 Cheryl transferred from Cal University of Pennsylvania to Mount Holyoke College, MA. Now a resident of Manchester, CT, and a Mount Holyoke Alum Frances Perkins Class ’99. 

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



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This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label ‘trafficked’ does not accurately describe migrants’ lives and that the ‘rescue industry’ serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. “Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality.”—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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Ancient African Nations

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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update 22 December 2011




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Related files: The Cleansing Cleansing Poem  Cleansing Prologue

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