Novelist to speak about the hoodoo tradition

Novelist Arthur Flowers will speak tonight at 7:30 in the St. Paul Student Center’s Northstar Ballroom.
Flowers is the author of two novels. His second novel, “Good Loving Blues,” has received praise from People Magazine and the Washington Times for the links between cultural heritage and racial consciousness in Flowers’ writing.
“Good Loving Blues” deals with hoodoo, a mystical religious tradition among some southern African- Americans. According to an article in the New York Times, Flowers is on a kind of “hoodoo mission,” using his status as a successful black American novelist to talk up his ideas about reviving and updating African religious traditions.
“I think of myself as an ideological orchestrator,” he said in a 1993 interview.
Hoodoo “doesn’t get a lot of respect in the world,” Flowers said in the interview. “People think of chants and animal sacrifice. I’m trying to elevate it from a magical system to a metaphysical, spiritual one.”
“I’m real mystical about the blues. The blues and hoodoo are my major metaphors, so I’ve studied them intensely,” Flowers told a reporter for The New York Times. Both blues and hoodoo are outgrowths of African tradition, he said, and each has its own approach to spirituality and healing.
The event, sponsored by the student center and the Africana Student Cultural Center, will highlight Flowers as an up-and-coming African-American novelist. Event tickets are free.

— Kamariea Forcier