Dr. Katrina Hazzard-Donald
Dr. Katrina Hazzard-Donald, Associate Professor of Sociology, explores African Americans’ experience and practice of the herbal healing folk belief tradition known as Hoodoo in her new book, Mojo Workin’: The Old African American Hoodoo System (University of Illinois Press: 2012. Working against conventional scholarship Hazzard-Donald argues that Hoodoo emerged first in three distinct regions she calls “regional Hoodoo clusters” and that after the turn of the 19th century Hoodoo took on a national rather than a regional profile. The book lays out the movement of Hoodoo against a series of watershed changes in the American cultural landscape. Throughout, Hazzard-Donald distinguishes between “Old tradition Black Belt Hoodoo” and commercially marketed forms that have been controlled, modified, and often fabricated by outsiders. This study focuses on the hidden system operating almost exclusively among African Americans in the Black spiritual underground.