No one could tell Dinkie who he was or ought to be – not even his enslaver. He’d always been the master of his own life.
So when the enslaver said, “I make it a point always to whip a nigger, the first day that I take charge of a farm, so as to let the hands know who I am. And now, Mr. Dinkie . . . I shall give you a flogging that you will never forget,” Dinkie knew he was potently protected.
Before disappearing into the barn, Dinke turned to the others and said, “If he lays the weight of his finger on me, you’ll see de top of dat barn come off.” Dinkie walked out unscathed.
Typically made using gravel, herbs, and graveyard dirt — an indication of ancestral beliefs in the power of the dead – Goopher Dust was one of Dinkie’s best weapons. He was known to dust himself in powder to escape whippings and fieldwork.
Conjure was more than just herbs and trickery. It was a psychological device that empowered our people, allowing them to have a measure of control over their lives, even during enslavement. Our people used it for healing and harming to make a way out of no way during turbulent times.
When we lean into ancestral ways of being, we’ll realize we’ve always possessed the power to protect ourselves.
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