Yvonne P. Chireau

in Black Magic

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780520209879
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940277 | DOI:

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This chapter provides the conclusion to this study of the relationship between African American religion and conjuring practices, discussing the origin and development of supernatural beliefs and practices such as Conjure among enslaved African black communities in the United States as a means of healing and harming. In earlier periods, conjuring provided a conceptual and practical framework by which slaves confronted misfortune and evil in their lives. Later, Conjure coexisted with Christianity among African Americans as an alternative strategy for interacting with the spiritual realm. In the present day, African American conjuring traditions have given way to more diverse forms of supernatural practice. African American supernaturalism resonates in contemporary manifestations of Hoodoo, in the ritual creations of African diasporic religions, and in artistic forms that utilize conjuring themes. African American supernatural traditions are dynamic products of black spirituality, and a study of these traditions can open a window onto the many levels at which black life has been suffused with religious meaning.

Keywords: African American supernaturalism; Conjure; spirituality; African American Christians; black slaves; United States

Chapter.  1842 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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