Our Ancestors Called Upon The “HopeBringer.” We Can, Too.

What do you hope for? May your hopes reach God just like our ancestors' hopes did. Through folklore and protective rituals using High John the Conqueror root, our ancestors called upon the “hopebringer.” And his legacy still informs our hope today.

Our Ancestors Called Upon The “HopeBringer.” We Can, Too.
Via Wikimedia Commons

 With so much folklore about High John, we’ll never know if he was real. In some folktales, he is a trickster outwitting his enslavers

One story even depicted High John as an enslaved Congolese prince who outsmarted the Devil. In this tale High John escaped back to Africa, leaving his powers for those still enslaved in the roots of the jalap plant that grew in the South. 

Whether he ever existed or not, High John planted seeds of hope for our enslaved ancestors. They called him the “hopebringer,” symbolizing their desire for freedom. 

Preserving the name“High John the Conqueror” affirms our ancestors' belief that we too will be victorious.

High John root is still popular in hoodoo plant medicine and rituals. Keeping High John in our ancestral spiritual practices and folklore proves that our ancestors were determined to keep hope alive, even in the most horrific times.

In today’s horrific times – with genocides rooted in ethnic cleansing, race and colorism, and white imperialism – hope is still desperately needed. And not “renewed hope” that the systems and governments that continue to fail us will get better. They won’t. 

HOPE that we never lose sight of the power of our righteous resistance. Hope that we will win. Hope that, whether as root or spirit, High John is with us on the front lines. 

We have a quick favor to ask...

We hope you're enjoying PushBlack Spirit! Spreading the truth about Black spiritual practices and history is just as important to you as it is to us.

And as a small non-profit, we need your support to keep spreading these important stories.

With as little as $5 a month, you will support our tech and writing costs, so we can reach even more people like you. It only takes a minue, so will you please donate now?