On January 28, 2001, Africana.com reported on "a groundbreaking $750,000 research venture called the Boston Healing Landscape Project. Funded by the Ford Foundation...and implemented by the Department of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, the project's main focus will be examining communities of African descent in the Boston area and exploring how people use alternative and...
In January, 2001, Essence published an article by Marta Moreno Vega on her grandmother (abuela), who was one of the thousands born to generations of Africans in
the Americas who practice Espiritismo in secret. These African-Americans hide "their beliefs behind images of the captors' religions,
masking their orishas [the African gods and goddesses of creation] with the faces of their enslavers' saints. For this
reason," Vega writes, "my ancestors' religion came to be known as Santeria, the Way of the
Saints." Vega was intrigued by her abuela'...
On December 26, 2000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
published its interview of Maulana Karenga, the
black nationalist and
professor of black studies at California State
University in Long Beach who started Kwanzaa in 1966.
"Rooted in East African harvest festivals," Kwanzaa
is "a festival of music, drama,
dance, readings and mask-making" that is observed
from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Each day focuses on one of
the nguzo saba, the seven principles of living: unity, self-determination,
collective work and responsibility,...
On December 23, 2000, the Omaha World-Herald reported that the Rev. Larry Menyweather-Woods of Mount
Moriah Missionary Baptist Church and his congregation are expecting roughly 200 people at this year's
Kwanzaa celebration. "The weeklong observance will focus on 'positive reaffirmation,
information, inspiration and fellowship,' Menyweather-Woods said. Each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa
(unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity
and faith) is represented by a...
On December 22, 2000, the Star Tribune reported that Kwanzaa, created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as
"as a time for black families to focus on community responsibility, commerce and self-improvement; 34 years later,
the New York Times reports, it is observed by 15 million people worldwide." Modelled after first fruits
festivals in Africa, Kwanzaa includes a focus on gathering together and introspection. Kwanzaa is not a religious
holiday, but it allows people to feel the spirit of the season and the new year. "Kwanzaa is...
On September 24, 2000, The Buffalo News reported that a "member of the Rastafarian religion claims that he was turned down for a bus driver's job in Buffalo because his hair hung halfway down his back in dreadlocks. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit in Buffalo last week against Greyhound Lines on behalf of Kevan Sheppard, 43, of Rochester. The federal anti-discrimination agency charges that Sheppard was the victim of religious discrimination when Greyhound officials in Buffalo turned down his...
On August 15, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported on Marty Mayer, president of Indio Products. Mayer "oversees the transformation of several tanker-cars full of wax into candles...every week at his Long Beach factory." He also boasts an "inventory of nearly 7,000 magic candles, oils, essences, soaps, aerosols, and floor washes flowing to distributors throughout the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Japan." While Mayer himself does not believe in magic, many of his customers do; most of his "customers are wholesalers running...
On July 17, 2000, The Baltimore Sun reported on Christopher Obas, a Haitian-American who "heads a five-member dance troupe, Anba's Lakay." Obas "feels the spirits have given him and
his dancers a...mission...to spread the true word about Haitian Vodou culture in the United States, where many associate the religion with evil and
spells. Vodou, in fact, is one of several religions combining West African deity worship and elements of Roman Catholicism practiced in the Caribbean
and Brazil today."
On January 4, 2000, The Washington Post published an
article on the presence of Santeria in the Washington, DC area.
Santeria, which now attracts several thousand adherents in the region
who cross ethnic, racial, professional, and religious lines, became a
more visible presence in the Washington area about 20 years ago, when
the Mariel boat lift brought Cubans to the District. Santeria is an
Afro-Cuban faith with roots in the Yoruba region of Nigeria. The
religion began when West African slaves who were brought to the New
On October 21, 1998, Newsday reported on an exhibition at
the American Museum of Natural History entitled, "Sacred Arts of
Haitian Vodou." The exhibition, which runs through January 3rd, has
come to New York as the last stop of a two-year tour. With more than
500 objects, it is the "most exhaustive exhibition ever devoted to
the artifacts of voodoo." Vodou art "sanctifies the ordinary" such
that mundane objects, like Coke bottles and tin cups, can be
transformed into devotional objects. Vodou, which fuses the beliefs
and practices of...
In the January 1996 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, a letter to the editor was published that stated, "As providers of community health and mental health services in underserved areas, we recognize the public health threat of dispensing mercury. However, we recommend also that the dangers of mercury be sensitively separated from the social-psychological benefits of spiritualism. In inner-city Hispanic communities, espirtismo is an indigenous source of community socialization and support....