Hoodoo in all of its variants is predominately considered a southern phenomenon. Many regions in the south can attribute conjure and rootwork to elders and ancestors who were exposed to the craft. Many were slaves who brought many traditions from the continent of Africa and other regions, or native americans who were adept at planting and seasonal anomalies.. Many consider the craft evil or spooky and may not quite understand the correlations between survival and coping with the trauma of enslavement…. Many books introduce the curious to the mystery of hoodoo and other crafts…. We suggest reading these books with an open mind and seek to understand the “Why’s of Hoodoo” before the “How’s of Hoodoo” … It is a practice forged of necessity and trauma and the legacy of our African American ancestors… We are forever agonized at what they suffered and seek to move forward in honor of all the lives before us & those who managed to persevere.
My maternal family is originally from Middle Tn and an oral history of our family is intact for the most part.. My great grandmother has passed down to us incredible stories about life in the late 1800’s that she remembered her elders told to her…. My granny was born in the 1920’s and lived a life we are unable to comprehend today… By the time she passed, we were so full of stories and awe of their survival it was almost too much to fathom…. She was an adept at growing flowers and was a mid-wife or the lady who help birth babies.. I am fortunate to have been born with her help and landed in her lap at birth where she cut the cord and removed the skin from my face…She was just recently given a page in a publication by Tony Kail in 2020, called “Stories of Rootworkers & Hoodoo in the Mid-South,” https://www.amazon.com/Stories-Rootworkers-Mid-South-American-Heritage/dp/1467139890/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=tony+kail&qid=1587945687&sr=8-1
We were so honored during his visit to interview our family in 2019 & to our surprise, he felt she deserved a page or two in the new book….. It’s a great read and he truly documents in all of his works, the importance, legacy & origins of conjure & spiritual or “hoodoo” work in the Mid-South and other regions.