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Making GullahA History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination$
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Melissa L. Cooper

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469632681

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632681.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

The 1920s and 1930s Voodoo Craze

The 1920s and 1930s Voodoo Craze

African Survivals in American Popular Culture and the Ivory Tower

(p.40) 2 The 1920s and 1930s Voodoo Craze
Making Gullah

Melissa L. Cooper

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores the 1920s and 1930s "voodoo craze" by examing the way that negative ideas about "Africa" and "Africans" during these years, and the prevelance of the common association between Africa and spiritual primitivism (superstitions, the belief in black magic, and dark rituals) became a prominent theme in assessments of Gullah folk's African connection. Using newspapers that circulated in popular migration destinations, films, plays, and travel writers' accounts to trace popular ideas about African survivals, this chapter charts a mounting obsession with southern black voodoo and superstition that reenergizes the debate over African survivals in the academe.

Keywords:   Voodoo, Roots, Conjure, Zora Neale Hurston, Melville Herskovits, Franz Boas, E. Franklin Frazier, Robert E. Park, Gullah, African Survivals

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