A Secret History of Memphis Hoodoo: Rootworkers, Conjurers & Spirituals
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Widely known for its musical influence, Beale Street was also once a hub for Hoodoo culture. Many blues icons, such as Big Memphis Ma Rainey and Sonny Boy Williamson, dabbled in the mysterious tradition. Its popularity in some African American communities throughout the past two centuries fueled racial tension—practitioners faced social stigma and blame for anything from natural disasters to violent crimes. However, necessity sometimes outweighed prejudice, and even those with the highest social status turned to Hoodoo for prosperity, love or retribution. Author Tony Kail traces this colorful Memphis heritage, from the arrival of Africans in Shelby County to the growth of conjure culture in juke joints and Spiritual Churches.
The History Press
: 9781467137393
: The History Press
: 02/20/2017
: Tennessee
: 67 Black And White
: 176
: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
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About the author
Tony Kail is an ethnographer and writer. He holds a degree in cultural anthropology and has researched magico-religious cultures for more than twenty-five years. His work has taken him from Voodoo ceremonies in New Orleans to Haitian Botanicas in Harlem and Spiritual Churches in East Africa. He has lectured at more than one hundred universities, hospitals and public safety agencies. Kail has been featured on CNN Online, the History Channel and numerous radio, television and print outlets. A resident of Humboldt, Tennessee, Kail was raised in Memphis and calls it his second home.
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