Conjuring Moments in African American Literature: Women, by Kameelah L. Martin (auth.)

By Kameelah L. Martin (auth.)

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Extra resources for Conjuring Moments in African American Literature: Women, Spirit Work, and Other Such Hoodoo

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The last living heir of Marie Eucharist, Victor Pierre Crocker, petitioned the court to have his mother declared dead in 1881, only five months after the death of his grandmother, Marie Laveau, the Widow Paris. 48 This sounds plausible, but both Fandrich and Ward uncovered court records that cited Marie Eucharist Glapion for unpaid taxes in 1865 and 1866, which were subsequently paid, and while “in New Orleans dead people are allowed to vote in most elections . . they do not have to pay real estate taxes,” Ward remarks (166).

She glanced at the bowl of water, got up, removed it, saying, ‘I didn’t know I’d left this on the table’ ” (110). It is Tituba who anticipates that her husband, John Indian, will be accused of being the devil when she hears talk of a “tall, black man” being discussed among the afflicted. She quickly invents a plot to acquit John and turn the accusers’ trick back on them: “When the girls have their fits in Ingersoll’s taproom, you must pretend to have fits, too. Just as though you were bewitched .

Interestingly, Alfred Raboteau reveals that in Cuba, “Santeros believe that the most powerful stones were carried from Africa by slaves who had swallowed them” (22). In a similar fashion, Tituba carries the stone hidden between folds of her body and clothing as a constant reminder of a lost homeland and perhaps even a lost consciousness. The reader discovers that Tituba came into possession of the stone when she healed an old man who lived “way back in the hills of Barbados” of fever (206). He presented her with the stone as payment in kind and “told her that if she ever thought her life was in danger, she was to unwrap the thunderstone and hold it in her hand.

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