"Perhaps the most memorable federally financed book to come out of the New Deal."
Set against the background of the antebellum slave trade, Drums and Shadows traces the persistence of African heritage in the culture of blacks living on the Georgia coast in the 1930s. In the later years of the depression, members of the Georgia Writers’ Project visited and interviewed blacks, many of whose grandparents, smuggled into slavery as late as 1858, had passed on the customs and beliefs of their African past. Seeking evidence of African traditions, the project’s workers questioned the blacks about conjure—the curses and potions responsible for turns of luck, illnesses, and even death—about dreams that often determine the course of daily life, and about spirits and other apparitions as real as walking, breathing people.
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