How Hoodoo Practitioners Have Been Crucial For Our Spirits And Our Survival

We carry ancestral and spiritual wisdom inside of us. It is our birthright. This knowledge continues to protect us and reveals the roles we all play in our fight for liberation. Historically, it was spiritual leaders on plantations who kept us safe.

How Hoodoo Practitioners Have Been Crucial For Our Spirits And Our Survival
Via Wikimedia Commons

The enraged overseer walked towards him. He calmly chewed the root he’d concealed inside his mouth. The hoodoo woman said it would protect him. 

As the overseer drew nearer, he subtly spit his infused saliva in his direction. Stumbling, a blank expression crossed the overseer’s face before he switched directions.

Throughout slavery, hoodoo practitioners provided their communities with food, healthcare, spiritual guidance, and ancestral wisdom. 

But they also wielded their powers to protect loved ones. 

On plantations, hoodoo women used medicinal and spiritual knowledge to create charms, amulets, and remedies that protected the carrier from enslavers. 

Some remedies softened the hearts of enslavers, while others made enslavers provide more resources, like food, to those enslaved. Most commonly, these remedies protected wearers from violent corporal punishment. 

The role of hoodoo workers varied depending on their community’s needs, but all work was considered holy as their actions were informed by spiritual and ancestral wisdom. 

Post emancipation, hoodoo practitioners continued keeping our community safe, especially from the corrupt prison industrial complex. 

The diasporic knowledge hoodoo practitioners preserved lives within us. More of us are returning to these practices as we reimagine what community care is needed for the future. 

We all have roles to play within this future building. What gifts, ancestral wisdom, or faith practices can you contribute?

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