“Voodooism” Increases Profits

On the tendency of white foreigners, especially, and recently American negroes, to read dark, jungle atavism into even the most guileless aspects of Haitian life, our author has this to say:

“Many good missionaries have come to us from the United States and elsewhere to advise us to preserve our traditions, customs, and African cults and to burn all our bridges to Christian civilization in order that Haiti must preserve its originality: they wish our country to form a blackspot in America whose proximity will exempt them from the expense of long trips to Africa to study the arts and practices of the ‘non-civilized.” And when, with the ‘candid complaisance of the Haitians,’ as Louis Mars says, they visit several houmforts and pick up a few legends about zombis and werewolves, they inundate the American market with a flood of black books on Haiti to the delight of the credulous American public, eager to bolt the most unbelievable stories of alleged Haitian savagery. But against this avalanche the efforts of a Price-Mars and a J.C. Dorsainvil are in vain; not even a Herskovits can stem the tide, because their works are too serious to please the fickle minds which make up the clientele of the Wirkuses, Seabrooks, Loederers, Craiges and company. Just now the writers are Negro American—Miss Hurston, Arna Bontemps—who, finding no elements of ‘Bantu culture’ at home among their twelve million congeners of Anglo-Saxon culture and Christian civilization, come to study them in Haiti.”

M. Louis Dantès Bellegarde quoted in James W. Ivy, “A Haitian Speaks,” The Crisis (June 1943)

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2 Comments

  1. Posted March 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Voodooism in increases profits: http://t.co/HdyIoGft #haiti #USA

  2. Posted December 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Voodooism increases profits: http://t.co/uRzqPhM2

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