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- DescriptionA history of black America's supernatural beliefs from the colonial era to the present From black sorcerers' client-based practices in the antebellum South to the postmodern revival of hoodoo and its tandem spiritual supply stores, the supernatural has been a key component of the African American experience. Jeffrey E. Anderson unfolds a fascinating story as he traces the origins and evolution of conjuring practices across the centuries. What began as a mixture of African, European, and Native American influences within slave communities finds expression today in a multi-million-dollar business. Though some may see the study of conjure as a perpetuation of old stereotypes that depict blacks as bound to superstition, the truth, Anderson tes, is far more complex. Drawing on folklore, fiction and nfiction, music, art, and oral interviews, he explores various portrayals of the conjurer-backward buffoon, rebel against authority, and symbol of racial pride. He also examines the actual work performed by conjurers, including the use of pharmacologically active herbs to treat illness, psychology to ease mental ailments, fear to bring about the death of enemies and acquittals at trials, and advice to encourage clients to succeed on their own. Conjure's ability to merge supernaturalism and religion-along with a widespread belief in, fear of, or respect for conjure's effectiveness-has made it a force across generations, Anderson shows, and t only among blacks. New Age spiritualism, Afro-Caribbean syncretic faiths, and modern psychological understandings of magic have all contributed to a recent revival of conjure. By critically examining the many influences that have shaped conjure over time, Anderson effectively redefines magic as a cultural power, one that has profoundly touched the arts, black Christianity, and American society overall. Jeffrey E. Anderson is an assistant professor of history at Middle Georgia College and lives in Cochran.
- Author BiographyJeffrey E. Anderson is an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisiana in Monroe.
- Author(s)Jeffrey E Anderson
- PublisherLSU Press
- Date of Publication01/11/2007
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectThe Occult & Mythology
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintLSU Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight367 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine14 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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