Cover

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pp. 1-5

Contents

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pp. 6-7

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

...Press of Florida, 2013), reprinted with permission of the University Press of Florida. Parts of chapter 1 appeared in an earlier version in “Notes Towards a Voodoo Hermeneutics: Soul Rhythms, Marvelous Transitions, and Passages to the Creole Saints in Paule Marshall’s...

A Note on the Illustrations

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pp. xi-xiv

Invocation: To Bust Your Shell

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pp. 1-2

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INTRODUCATION: Reborn Again: Orphan Initiations, Motherless Lands

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pp. 3-32

...the National Geographic Society, renewed my own appreciation for that old voodoo economist, Ronald Reagan, and his famous slip of the tongue at the 1988 Republican National Convention: “Facts are stupid things.” Reagan got this absolutely right. Imagine, for example, if National...

Part One: The Ancestral House

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CHAPTER ONE: Down to the Mire: Travels, Shouts, and Saraka in Atlantic Praise-Housings

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pp. 35-64

...From W. E. B. Du Bois to Jean Toomer, several key early authors of African American modernity turned southward to Gullah/Geechee terrain—the Altamaha, the Georgia rice fields, the shout-driven rhythms of the Charleston—to dip their art into living waters of a folk authority more complex and transfiguring...

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CHAPTER TWO: Lift Every Voice and Swing: James Weldon Johnson’s God-Met Places and Native Lands

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pp. 65-94

...There is a remarkable set of tensions between God and native land in the Negro national anthem. Marking a path grown from “the places, our God, where we met Thee,” the song lays implicit claim to a counter-cultural knowledge of the sacred’s blood-consecrated terrain...

Part Two: Les Invisibles

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CHAPTER THREE: Fe Chauffe, Balanse, Swing: Saint-Domingue Refugees in the Govi of New Orleans

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pp. 97-127

...stagnant situation. Balancing acts help swing us beyond the fi xed score or script through otherwise uncharted, invisible, inaudible, or unthinkable zones of experience. Whether it be the time- space of a Haitian yam harvest celebrated in Brooklyn or the stage of a club in New Orleans’s Faubourg Marigny, the...

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CHAPTER FOUR: Making Faces at the Sublime: Momentum from within Creole City

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pp. 128-156

...“M’o get me a mojo hand,” blues and zydeco frontmen wail amidst waves of slide guitar or accordion from clubs in the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny. To step into that assembly’s living memory or to walk the streets...

Part Three: Sangre y Monte

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CHAPTER FIVE: “Come and Gaze on a Mystery”: Zora Neale Hurston’s Rain-Bringing Authority

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pp. 159-183

...Hurston’s Haitian encounters with the Vodou lwa had been prepared by earlier travels of ritual seeking in the Gulf South and the Bahamas and were fed too by her Florida broughtupsy and orphaning. She carried all this—her initiate crowning in New Orleans as storm-walking...

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CHAPTER SIX: “Vamonos pa’l Monte”: Into Florida’s Repeating Bush

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pp. 184-213

...terrestrial life, she is the genius of fi rst contacts and aqueous beginnings. Her beach off erings grew increasingly familiar: fruit, fl owers, and candles left at surf’s edge, fried pork rinds and plantains surrounding seven pennies. Her public face—the Virgin of Regla—confronted me daily in neighborhood bodegas...

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ENVOI: “White Women Have Never Known What to Do with Their Blood”: Gulf Carriers and Sanguine Knowledge

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pp. 214-240

...When Governor George Wallace took his infamous doorway stand to block a descendant of enslaved Africans from admission to the University of Alabama, he doubtless felt he was serving the intent of the state’s and nation’s founding fathers. He was not wrong in that conviction. Even America’s most...

Notes

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pp. 241-270

Bibliography

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pp. 271-292

Index

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pp. 293-311