I am done reading Cox’s Body and Soul. I didn’t read the whole thing. I skipped the end of a chapter I thought was boring and I skimmed his chapter on Indian Spirits because I lost interest.
I cannot begin to tell you how strange this is. I liked the book. I just didn’t want to read it all. And so I didn’t.
Never in my life have I, for pleasure, just read the parts of a book I wanted to. If I opened up your first page, I was in to the last page. I was diligent. I was thorough. And then I read for my job and I couldn’t read for fun at all.
But slowly, it’s coming back. And, as it returns, I’m learning some new stuff–like you can just read the parts of a book that hold your interest.
So, I will say that the parts of Cox’s book that are interesting to me are really interesting. You might find the stuff on Indian spirit guides interesting as well, I just didn’t.
Obviously, I really liked the sleep-preachers. But I also really enjoyed and am mulling over his chapter on Black Spiritualists. He discovered two things that caught my attention–one is that the Southern states with the highest reported rate of Spiritualists were Louisiana and Tennessee, in that order. I don’t think it can be any coincidence that the two centers for urban voodoo/hoodoo (I use the slash not because they’re the same thing, but to indicate a continuum of spiritual beliefs along that axis that I’m not going into right now) in the South, at least in this part, are New Orleans and Memphis.
So, yeah, I wish he’d spent as much time going into the Tennessee end of things as he did going into the Louisiana end, but his stuff on the Creole (used in this case to mean free blacks who had French roots) Spiritualists in New Orleans is really interesting. And yes, these Spiritualist circles were operating at the same time Marie Laveau had her ministry.
Whew, that seems ripe for looking into–Cox makes the Spiritualist circles out to seem mostly lead by men. And Laveau obviously was not. So, then you wonder if that means anything. You wonder if Spiritualism sat side-by-side with Catholicism as easily as voodoo did?
Well, lots of stuff to wonder about.
But I have to get in the shower.