By Kameelah L. Martin (auth.)
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Extra info for Conjuring Moments in African American Literature: Women, Spirit Work, and Other Such Hoodoo
The crowd attributed the mishap to the power of the Widow Paris, who “Thou Shall Not Suffer a Witch to Live” 39 supposedly was also responsible for conjuring the torrential thunderstorm that preceded the hanging. 41 Ward explains that the other ten children attributed to the Widow Paris were likely those of her two surviving daughters. Each daughter birthed five children of her own, many of whom resided at the same St. Ann Street home as the Widow Paris. 42 It is this role for which she is most remembered.
Infanticide and abortion as means of resistance to slavery were certainly not unheard of, as exemplified in the case of Margaret Garner, on whom Toni Morrison based her novel Beloved; however, it is not unlikely that countless enslaved women were charged and punished for plantation sabotage without any conclusive evidence. This indignity of deceit, maliciousness, and murder that surrounds women healers and spiritualists, particularly those of African descent, inherited over centuries of Western hegemony, is not easily dismantled.
45 The dates and events of her lifetime lead me to believe that it is Marie Eucharist that Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men (1935) recalls through her association with Luke Turner, who claims to be Marie Eucharist’s nephew. Turner’s narrative corroborates the historical facts scholars have been able to verify about Marie Eucharist: “She was born February 2, 1827. Anybody don’t believe I tell the truth can go look at the book in St. Louis Cathedral. Her mama and papa, they wasn’t married and his name was Christophe Glapion” (192).
Conjuring Moments in African American Literature: Women, Spirit Work, and Other Such Hoodoo by Kameelah L. Martin (auth.)