A father, convinced he was the victim of a voodoo curse, drowned his two young children in the bathtub and then jumped to his death in front of a subway train, police said Thursday.
Franz Bordes, 39, died at Wednesday evening at a Brooklyn subway station. Investigators found several suicide notes indicating he was at odds with relatives of the children’s mother, a Haitian immigrant like Bordes.
“They’re using everything they can to destroy me, most of all voodoo,” one of the notes read, according to police.
Being a child of people from the South and, hell, an African-American period, I’m all too familiar with all the talk about “roots” and someone “putting a root on you.” Many an enterprising housewife/single mom in the ‘hood made a living as “the root lady,” taking money from folks who couldn’t afford the extra expense in the first place in order to reverse the curse of whatever terror was threatening to take them down. A few visits to the neighborhood hex-maker/spell unbreaker gave many fearful people peace of mind. Most came home with some sort of talisman, candles, or lucky oil guaranteed to rid them of the bugaboos and death traps that were surely lurking nearby.
Heck, most of us of a certain age can spout, damn near word-for-word, Richard Pryor’s side-splitting classic Mudbone bit, “Little Feets,” featuring the quintessential root lady, Miss Rudolph, a three-legged monkey, and a disappearing tarantula.
That Miss Rudolph bit was both hilarious and terrifying to black folks because we all knew a Miss Rudolph or knew somebody who knew one. Tales ran rampant in black communities of the South of the root lady who could dry up your womb or make a man’s dick fall off (…or worse). Speaking of which, y’all ever read my book, Child of God?
(Alright, that was a shameless plug, but this is my blog, after all.)
Anyway…I’m not saying that voodoo, hoodoo (which is different from voodoo), and roots aren’t real (please, don’t put a root on me for that!). Reality is an ever-shifting creature, manifested by one’s force of focus and beliefs. But at some point you’ve just got to step away from this kind of fear, otherwise you’ll never be at peace. Every presumed evil eye will send you running for the hills.
Since I brought it up, I figured I’d give you a *special treat*. For those who’ve never heard it, revel in the brilliance for the very first time. For those like me who know it as well as they know their own name, celebrate the magnificence of one of the brightest lights to ever shine on our horizon. For your listening pleasure, ladies and gents, I present…
(Click the words above to listen.)
*Oh yeah, it’s definitely NSFW—Not Suitable For Work. C’mon now, it’s Richard Pryor. The fuck you thought?
Fox News: New Yorker Claiming Voodoo Curse Drowns 2 Kids, Kills Self on Subway Tracks
11 thoughts on “When F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) Goes Too Far.”
>"there was an ol' mane…his name was mudbone…."ahhh, classic…just comic genius.lo, do you see….what i see?
>Dang, Lo, what you trying to do? I couldn't remember the elements chart for chemistry class but I could recite, word for word any Richard Pryor album. Does anyone remember Rudy Ray Moore's Dolomite (sp?)
>oh yeah….dolemite and petey wheatstraw!!!!another 70's classic!damn, where's my bean bag chair?
>"She couldn't predict heat in August." Is my favorite line from Eve's Bayou. This is something Debbie Morgan's character said about Diahann Carroll's character who was the town voodoo woman.All I got to say is my experience with this culture goes deep. I happen to have a wide circle of Hatian friends so I know the practice/belief/evidence of their dark side goes deep even today. What's interesting is that, for them, it's not a "remedy" you reach for when you need to put something on someone, it's a religion. A very good friend's grandparents were always at odds because she was a devout Catholic and he was a voodoo priest.Child of God was an awsome, book by the way. If you haven't already read it do yourself a favor. But I must warn you, it takes you places that may be slightly uncomfortable.Have a great weekend.
>"oh Dolemite I'm so happy, Im so happy you hooome."
>"Down in the jungle deep…."
>I remember being 9, and my brother, who was 7 at the time, and I would sneak and listen to my daddy's Richard Pryor Album's. We were able to do this, because parents weren't scared to leave you at home at that age, back in the day. We knew the rules. Don't turn on the stove and stay away from the door, don't answer it for no one! That was around 1976! I rememeber because we also used to sneak and listen to Richard Pryor's "Bicentennial Nigger" Album. This bit of comedy you shared is a classic. To this day, if I say to my brother, "Damn this water's cold" he would be sure to reply "Yeah, and it's deep too!" We would then commence with the laughing. Thanks for the childhood memories.
>wow, the memories of richard pryor and the 70's are going rampart with me today…y'all remember the skit of the wino and the junkie?wow!
>Naw, my favorite is the vampire in the hood . . . when he said, "you wanna suck some what? You better take yo ass down to the blood bank, I hope you catch sickle cell."Rich, you making me feel old, I started college in 76, but it's all good my brother.
>Juan, you stole my thunder. I was going to write about the vampire in the hood bit. "You need an orphadontis…"…."You better suck yo' ass on away from here…"Ahhh, the old days…
>my bad, forgot all about the vampire…"hey boy! what you doing lookin' in dem peoples window!"