Afro-Caribbean

How to make a thousand witches with one Supreme Court decision

June 6, 2022

“No wonder this stuff’s getting so damn popular,” exclaims Shirley to her friend Joan at the start of George Romero’s 1972 film “Hungry Wives.” Joan and Shirley, two neglected middle-age suburban housewives, are on their way to a tarot reading.

What’s getting “so damn popular” is witchcraft.

“The religion offers a retreat” for repressed women, Shirley notes, adding, “Christ, what other kind of women are there?”

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TikTok witches are accusing each other of being toxic, gatekeepers, and misinformation spreaders

April 16, 2022

Last October, a TikToker uploaded a short instructional video in which she claimed to teach a technique to "make someone think of you 24/7." All a person needed to do was follow a few simple steps: Write the name of their unrequited love on a piece of paper three times, fold the paper three times, and put it under their pillow. Subsequently having a dream about them would mean it had worked, she said.

The TikTok, which is one of hundreds on her account teaching followers simple "spells," has since been viewed more than 20 million times and received 1.4 million likes, but the...

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Black women entrepreneurs are finding their niche in spirituality-inspired businesses

February 19, 2022

In 2020, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic changed the way many Americans worked, as companies closed their doors to limit workplace contamination. The uncertainty around Covid-19 caused people to seek hope in religion and spirituality, resulting in industry growth. For many Black women, like Shontel Anestasia, the current spiritual boom is not only a way to connect to one’s higher self, but also a means of making money.

Anestasia, owner of the...

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'Endurance to thrive': Yelaine Rodriguez uses costume to defy stereotypes of Afro Latinx and Caribbean religions

August 26, 2021

Yelaine Rodriguez is used to people making assumptions about her identity and what she does.

A first-generation Afro Dominican American born and raised in the Bronx, the now-30-year-old artist remembers the backhanded compliments she would receive as a teen and young adult -- comments like, "Oh, you don't seem like you're from the Bronx," weren't uncommon.

Even after Rodriguez started teaching at her alma mater, Parsons School of Design, some parents of her students seemed surprised by her background: "Your parents must be so proud of you," she can recall being told...

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Nieves Sues Prison Guards For Grabbing His Santeria Beads, Citing Justice Sotomayor

July 9, 2021

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 9 – Julio Nieves was in prison at Green Haven Correctional Facility when he was searched, and his Santeria beads were demanded.

He offered to place them on his shrine was but beaten and put in a the Special Housing Unit. He sued.  

On July 9, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Ronnie Abrams held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.   

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Student focuses research on Obeah, a religion used by Jamaican slaves

May 4, 2021

Cuba has Santeria.

Brazil has Candomblé.

Jamaica still practices Obeah.

All are African religions brought by the more than 4 million people stolen from their homes to be slaves in the Caribbean during the 15th and 16th centuries.

University of Miami senior Kay-Ann Henry, who was born in Jamaica, decided to explore the ways that those enslaved people used the Obeah practices to try to liberate themselves.

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‘Motown Witch’ brings ancestral wisdom to Detroit’s west side with metaphysical supply

March 18, 2021

You can judge a good “hoodoo” store by the smell. 

If you walk in and smell incense, herbs, and candles, you’re in the right place. This is especially true at Motown Witch, a metaphysical supply store that recently opened in a beautiful open space at 16844 Schaefer Hwy. on Detroit’s west side. 

Painted a bright yellow, the store is spacious with a large display of herbs like jasmine, lavender, and hibiscus in glass jars behind the counter that immediately beckon to customers. Scents like Wild Berry incense permeate the air and seduce the senses.

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Blessings of Imbolc and Lughnasadh

February 3, 2021

 

The turning of the wheel has brought those of us in the northern hemisphere to the celebration of Imbolc, and in the southern hemisphere, Lughnasadh or Lammas.

This wintry season in the northern hemisphere is celebrated by different traditions under a variety of names – the twelve-day observance of Entschtanning (the emergence), the Shinto Festival of Setsubun (February 3), the feast day of Saint Brigid of Ireland (February 1), and of course...

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African spirituality offers Black believers ‘decolonized’ Christianity

January 6, 2021

It’s 11:11 on a recent Sunday morning and The Proverbial Experience is just getting underway. “Greetings my loves!” proclaims the Rev. Lyvonne Proverbs Briggs, the founder of this weekly spiritual gathering on Instagram. “Anybody got a hallelujah in your spirit?”

As the congregation comes online, Briggs, from her home in New Orleans, greets each person by name as prerecorded gospel music plays. She frames herself in front of a makeshift altar with an assortment of crystals and a sign that reads, “God is love.”

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