Speculative Histories: Conjure people then and now

A visual series on the Way It Might Have Been We at the Academic Hoodoo are inspired by arts and technologies that revalue Africana Religions, whether they are in Africa, the U.S., Haiti, Brazil, or anywhere else in the world. Black religion is a global phenomenon. We redeem our venerable traditions from the degrading andContinue reading “Speculative Histories: Conjure people then and now”

Best-Forgotten: Race, Religion, and the Super Magician comics

Content warning: this post is illustrated with offensive images from an unusual Golden-Age comic book that may disturb. When I turned back to writing about comics, I couldn’t stop thinking of magic, religion, and race, three interconnected topics I can’t seem to get enough of. It’s all so very fraught, but it is very interesting,Continue reading “Best-Forgotten: Race, Religion, and the Super Magician comics”

Voodoo Brothers: Africana Religions and the Comics, pt. 2

As some of you know, my current project is a book-length study of Africana religions and comics, where I consider how graphic formats are utilized for representing the spiritual traditions of black people. I keep getting sidetracked, though, because the sources are so diverse, and there are a million different stories that need to be told. SoContinue reading “Voodoo Brothers: Africana Religions and the Comics, pt. 2”

Halloween Special: 20th century Black Horror Movie and Africana Religions

In this blog I want to note the continuing relevance of Voodoo as a trope in media and entertainment cultures by highlighting the historical significance of horror films. But I already covered this topic somewhat in an earlier period with reference to jungle Voodoo, and anyway, I find this sort of material to be kindContinue reading “Halloween Special: 20th century Black Horror Movie and Africana Religions”

Marie Laveau, Hoodoo-Voodoo-Vodou Icon

She belongs to everyone, now. I knew that it was time to write this post after all of the students in the class I was teaching had seen the third season of the FX series American Horror Story, starring Angela Bassett as Marie Laveau, except me. Most of my students had never heard of Mme MarieContinue reading “Marie Laveau, Hoodoo-Voodoo-Vodou Icon”

The Buddha in the Botanica

Many years ago I came upon an interesting presence while visiting El Cobre, a village in southeastern Cuba. Translated simply as “Copper,” El Cobre is well known for its 19th century mining concerns, but even more famously, it is the site of the national basilica for the luminous patron saint of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity.Continue reading “The Buddha in the Botanica”

A Story of Conjuring, Magic, and a White guy named Chung

This is one of those strange-but-true stories that I find really interesting. As I was browsing for historical information on Hoodoo, I found multiple sources dating back to the 1800s on the practice of magic as a kind of theatrical entertainment: staged illusions, seances, mesmerism/hypnosis acts, mind-reading shows, and so forth. I believe that these commercializedContinue reading “A Story of Conjuring, Magic, and a White guy named Chung”