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Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition
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Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  38 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Black Magic looks at the origins, meaning, and uses of Conjure—the African American tradition of healing and harming that evolved from African, European, and American elements—from the slavery period to well into the twentieth century. Illuminating a world that is dimly understood by both scholars and the general public, Yvonne P. Chireau describes Conjure and other relate ...more
Hardcover, 231 pages
Published October 2nd 2003 by University of California Press
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(showing 1-30 of 177)
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Betsy Phillips
Aug 28, 2011 Betsy Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nashville-book
I'd like to give this a really strong four stars. It's really good. But there are some holes, too. Chireau, for instance, doesn't address Spiritualism among white people at all, so the narrative arc of the 19th century for her seems to be "blacks are regarded as more and more backwards and superstitious as whites become more scientific and practical." Well, yes, kind of, but I wish that had been rendered a little more problematic by a discussion of all the white people running around talking to ...more
Jessica
I find it really amusing that some reviewers have complained that this book doesn't mentioned White or Native American traditions. It does, but they're not given primary attention. This book centers Blackness. If you're not used to that or not expecting it... it'll throw you off a bit, I guess.

I thought this was a great read. I learned a lot about US history and about my own assumptions when approaching religious/moral discussions. I liked how it explored the role of Conjure in religion, folklor
...more
Onyx
Sep 06, 2014 Onyx rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: skeptics and other secularists
Shelves: cultural-magicks
I'd never thought I would side with Conservatives, but when it comes to education, maybe a person really can have too much of a good thing. It seems that a lot of scholarship does not make for a good book.

If you're looking for a book that treats Conjure, rootwork, hoodoo, and similar practices in a neutral way, this isn't it. It's a book that has been written for an academic audience, and as such, the author seems to attempt to appease a generally secular mindset. She doesn't take her subject se
...more
Min
Aug 25, 2016 Min rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An African-American professor of Religion offers this work to help better grasp the development of Conjure, only the magical practices, from its deep African roots, to early 20th century forms.
In the introduction, she refutes Durkheim's oft quoted belief that religion is congregational, and that magic is individual. This concept is ethnocentric, and myopic when it comes to those cultures that magic is an essential part of the community's religious practices.
"So closely were magic and religious
...more
Rebekah H.
Apr 18, 2012 Rebekah H. rated it liked it
Shelves: research
Concise, well thought out, and covering a lot of material. Chireau seems pretty unbiased for a researcher, which is nice. A fascinating subject.
Alaris
Nov 18, 2014 Alaris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for content and 2 syars for readability. Reading it was a chore.
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Yvonne Chireau is a Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College.
More about Yvonne Patricia Chireau...

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