The Misconception: Voodoo


Joy Yates

There is a common misconception in regards to Voodoo. Many are frightened by it. Many think it’s savage.
In order to understand voodoo, you have to understand this: anything in the wrong hands can be evil. We have seen what a Bible in a racist’s hands can do.
First of all, there is no singular type of voodoo. For example, there is Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Vodou, Brazilian Vodum, West African Voudon, Cuban Vodu, and Dominican Vudu. All of them are diverse in their rituals and everyday life.
Although there are many types of Voodoo, I will be talking about Louisiana Voodoo. According to Gwendolyn Midlo, voodoo is “deeply rooted in spiritual and ancestral worship. ¬†Their knowledge of herbs, poisons, and the ritual creation of charms and amulets, intended to protect oneself or harm others, became key elements of Louisiana Voodoo. Voodoo was brought to the French Louisiana during the colonial period by enslaved africans from West Africa. Voodoo in Louisiana has existed since the early 1700’s.”
Voodoo in Louisiana was a way that enslaved Africans could protect their own culture and life, ¬†which were constantly at stake. As illustrated by “Africans in Colonial Louisiana,” the openness of the belief system of Africans allowed for the worship of Jehovah and Jesus Christ in voodoo practices. There were many merges of other religions within voodoo.
Louisiana has many people involved in voodoo. People like Marie Laveau and Prince John has inspired many people, whether they practice voodoo or not.
Voodoo is a passage way into an unprocessed African culture. It’s a still- waving flag of where we as African Americans have come from. Yet, voodoo is shown as savage and animalistic. I have a question for all who is reading this: Who made voodoo evil? Was it the people that created voodoo or was it the people who wanted to change your views of something that is apart of your own culture?