Monthly Archives: December 2011

Rootworker…cont.

I was expecting interviews with rootworkers and those who utilize their services. I was expecting more discussion of regional differences and an attempt to strongly substantiate the practices. The author’s intent was to elevate Rootwork beyond narrow stereotypes and association with evil. McQuillar defines Rootwork as “folk magick that uses the elements of nature to create change in ourselves, others, or our environment. It is an African-American form of shamanism that makes use of herbs, stones, rocks, and other organic material to heal the body or the mind, or to solve a problem.”
McQuillar, Tayannah Lee (2010-05-20). Rootwork (p. 3). Fireside. Kindle Edition.

The knowledge came with the surviving Africans during the slave trade and mixed with like minded knowledge and traditions of Native Americans. Its strong hold and practices developed in America where largely in the South, particularly in areas McQuillar offers as being impacted by Catholicism, i.e. Louisiana. I’ll add to this by offering in areas where the African population significantly outnumbered whites. Although McQuillar points out that Whites were also known to use African/African American Rootworkers as well and notes some famous Rootworkers.

Overall, it was a very quick read. The book is straightforward and to the point and includes some practices for those who wish to partake of Rootwork Magick. Nothing quite took hold for ideas for quilts but to continue on the path I started Sacred Symbols of the Dogon: The Key to Advanced Science in the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics by Laird Scranton.

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Filed under African American, culture, Kindle, Rootwork, Spiritual Life

Rootwork: Using the Folk Magick of Black America for Love, Money, and Success by Tayannah Lee McQuillar, Fireside Books, NY; 2003, Kindle Edition

From the title alone, I’m betting this to be an ejoyable and somewhat enlightening read.  I’m starting it tonight and hope it leads to at least one quilt on the subject if not the beginning of a series.

Image(click on image to go to Amazon.com)

 

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Rootwork: Using the Folk Magick of Black America for Love, Money, and Success by Tayannah Lee McQuillar, Fireside Books, NY; 2003, Kindle Edition

From the title alone, I’m betting this to be an ejoyable and somewhat enlightening read.  I’m starting it tonight and hope it leads to at least one quilt on the subject if not the beginning of a series.

Image

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Joplin’s Ghost, Tananarive Due, Atria Books, New York, 2005, Kindle

I abandoned The Artist’s Rule…not due to any reason associated with the book but my I’m not ready to focus on any spirit/life work right now.  Instead I found myself reading Joplin’s Ghost by Tananarive Due…my second foray into what is labelled sci-fi/paranormal genre.  My first was an Octavia Butler novel (I can’t recall which one) that I commanded myself to finish.  It was among the first books I dropped for Bookcrossing.

Joplin’s Ghost went beyond what I expected! The story is woven seamlessly and beautifully with  gems of history (and I guess that all good fiction writers do this) which captivated me to want to know so much more about Scott Joplin and kept me reflecting on the trails  and trials that early artists had to create and blaze.  Due made the personal agony very real by pitting Joplin’s thoughts and emotions and ego against the thoughts and emotions and ego of an uprising young woman coming of age in current times.

The book opens with Scott’s voice and the next chapter is the voice of Phoenix, the artist in contemporary times and continues to flip back and forth until their experiences merge intimately and passionately in the middle of the book (which held me wondering where it was all going and not at all predictable) and the end of the book their lives (Scott’s and Phoenix’s) battle to separate.  But what is history if not a mirrored reflection for us to study as we go forward…can you say Sankofa.

Due creates two parallel love stories; one being Scott’s love and passion for his second wife, Freddie; the other, Phoenix’s and Carlos’s,  a young music journalist who is the only one willing to believe Phoenix’s encounters with the ghost of Joplin.  There are a hosts of supporting characters which are interesting but slightly predictable in their roles…but the story development makes up for what lacks in character development and the central characters have strong situations and good personal dialogue.

In addition to exploring musical history, Due also handles the world and violence associated with hip-hop moguls, along with the dynamics of family relationships to create a very natural feel to the tensions and the dramas.  I think it would be a great cross-generational read with teenager not only for the educational resource but the action in the story is fast-paced enough for young people and the situations the characters continually face sparks plenty of opportunities for moral and philosophical and financial discussions.

To find more out about the book:

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Joplin’s-Ghost/Tananarive-Due/9780743449038

I will be reading more books from Due.

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Filed under African American, Authors, developing artists, Fiction, history, Joplin's Ghost, Kindle, Multi-racial, musical, musical