We discuss the role of hoodoo and folk magic in the African American community with our guest, Professor Yvonne P. Chireau.
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Download: Episode 109 – African American Hoodoo with Yvonne Chireau
If you’re interested in hoodoo, check out our Resources-Magical Systems page under the heading “Hoodoo, Voodoo, Conjure, & Root Work” to find an extensive list of our posts and podcasts on the topic.
You should definitely check out Yvonne P. Chireau’s website, Academic Hoodoo, and her book Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition. I also accidentally mix up her work with the work of Katrina Hazzard-Donald, who has another good book on the subject called Mojo Workin’: The Old African American Hoodoo System. Chireau’s mentor, Albert Rabetau, has also written some essential reading, called Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South.
The stories and songs interspersed in the episode are exerpts from the public domain recordings in the Library of Congress’ collection, Voices from the Days of Slavery. The voices you hear are “Uncle” Billy McCrae, Irene Williams, and Laura Smalley.
We’re also planning an excursion in early to mid-summer to see the ancient magical artifacts exhibit at the Penn Museum and we’d love for you to join us! You can find out about it in our Special Update post on it, or check out the Facebook Event page.
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Promos & Music
Title and closing music is “Homebound,” by Bluesboy Jag, and is used under license from Magnatune.
Incidental music is “Hollow Poplar,” by Lucas Gonze, from the Free Music Archive.
Songs include “Conjur Man” and “Hoodoo Lady,” by Memphis Minnie, from Archive.org, and “Roll Jordan Roll,” by The Joy Drops, via SoundCloud.