When F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) Goes Too Far. (*REPOST*)

I got to thinking about how black folks (and other cultures) of a particular era, region, and mindset can get caught up in the whole idea of someone “putting a root on them.” I figured I’d repost this blast from the past that addresses that very thing. Are “roots” real? Do you believe?


This is so tragic…

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…

Little Feets*
(Click the words above to listen.)

*Oh yeah, it’s definitely NSFWNot 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

8 thoughts on “When F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) Goes Too Far. (*REPOST*)

  1. >Dang, Lo this is a touchy one.I would say you can believe something exists without yielding to its power. Does that make sense?I think everyone believes there are spiritual gifts (Lo, you have a gift of discernment — didn't mean to call you out but you may not even know it). I would say you don't abuse that gift but you could very well do so. So just as people use gifts for good there are those who use them for personal gain or "bad" — remember Lucifer was a fallen angel but I digress.Certain regions of the U.S. are more likely to have experience with "roots" than others just like certain cultures. I have a Haitian friend whose grandmother was a devout Catholic whle his grandfather was a voodoo priest. Some of his stories childhood stories would make great reading.As my mother would say I went all around Robin Hood's barn just to say, sure, I think it exists but I don't ascribe to the power.


  2. >I flee from all situations that bring up anything related to vodoo and such.I loved the post and the book plug is most deserving. A masterpiece, literary giant. yayyyyyyyyyyyy!!*waving bye and leaving quickly*


  3. >Wow, Juan G., what a great response. Let me also add that I'm so glad see your cyber-face. You're always missed, my friend.As for that gift of discernment you mention…although it has become stronger over the years, I haven't fully explored it because, admittedly, it kind of freaks me out. But there is a "knowing" that I have about certain things, especially now that I'm older. I'm learning to be still and truly listen to my spirit, instead of allowing myself to be distracted by white noise.Roots are definitely a regional thing as well as cultural. I've seen plenty of it in the south and have heard extended family members speak of "root ladies" and folks "having roots on them" for years. I agree the spirit world is filled with intuitions and powers far beyond our understanding, but you don't have to ascribe to the belief that it can hurt you. Giving it power is what I think opens the door to disaster.


  4. >Good Morning Lo–The article of the man killing his children and himself was sad!I LOVED your quote:Reality is an ever-shifting creature, manifested by one's force of focus and beliefs.Thank you! I loved this one and I am going to remember this one.I have to be honest, I don't know much about 'roots' and 'voodoo' but, what I've seen on TV (media) I can tell you that I'm AFRAID to even entertaint the thought too long. Things are going far too amazing in my life. I do believe that there are people in this world who have committed their lives to EVIL thoughts and doings and I just pray that I will be given the sense to know who they are and that they stay the heck away from me! :)Have a great week and this was a great post.


  5. >I've tried to put a 'root' IN many women but never really ON them.Good on ya, Juan.Oh, and I get it Lo, "white" noise is bad. I suppose that makes black noise good. 🙂


  6. >Someone recommended Child of God to me and after I read it, I made it a point of looking for your books. As far as I'm concerned, its a classic.


  7. >Being that my father's family is from the deep, deep, deep (did I say deep? LOL)back-woods of Alabama, I am way toooo familiar with the concept of "hoo-doo" & "roots"(pronounced ruts).Am I a believer? Most definately! I've seen things that just have no other explanation (not one that I've been able to find anyway) that would make since.Am I afraid of it? Naw! I just try my dammie not to piss folks off, especially Southerners & Hatians LOL!I think those who have a fear of it, don't actually have an understanding of it or only know what they see in some movie where the voo-doo doc turns someone into a zombie.I liked this one…made me think about my dark-side!LOLSmooches


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