“Bow ya heads,” Gullah Jack said in a hushed tone. The ritual was beginning. They gathered in the thick of the night as Jack led the group in prayer before preparing libations and cracking the crab claws.
All eyes were on Gullah Jack, a man of short stature with a wiry beard, large whiskers, and a lot of healing power. The priest-conjurer gave everyone claw amulets for protection in the battle ahead and prescribed them a special diet of corn meal and peanut butter mash.
Gullah Jack and Denmark Vesey were heavy in their recruitment phase for the biggest rebellion Charleston, South Carolina, had ever seen. They planned to poison the city’s water supply and seize and distribute weapons to about 9,000 enslaved people, ready to regain their power.
Jack’s spiritual powers fueled the entire militia. He even worked his mojo to silence those who chose not to fight for their freedom.
But days before the rebellion, informants coerced into confessing disrupted their plans. Authorities captured Vesey, but Gullah Jack kept the faith, convincing shaken recruits that the revolt would persist.
Today, with rampant brutality and anti-Blackness constantly being waged against us, leaning on our spirituality to help our community is just as important as it was centuries ago.
Gullah Jack fought to his death for liberation, and his legacy reminds us to continue to resist today.
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