Julia Jackson

Julia Jackson was a Hoodoo practitioner from New Orleans.

Alongside Lala, she was an important voodoo queen of the 1940s.[1] She sold gris-gris, charms, and potions.[2] She made her own amulets, talismans, and ingredients. Materials she used in her concoctions included nails, earthworms, coffee grounds, chicken feathers, red pepper, and beef tongue. The instructions for her "To Kill Someone: Formula I" were to kill a rattlesnake and hang it out to dry in the sun. Then the person's name is written on a piece of paper and placed in the snake's mouth.[1] Jackson was feared by the brothel madams of Storyville for her "sealing power".[3] By 1946, Jackson had purchased half of the property on her block. She also owned a car and traveled extensively in the country.[1]

New Orleans musician Dr. John mentioned Jackson in his song "Jump Sturdy" from his 1968 album Gris-Gris. In the song he says that Jump Sturdy got tangled up with Queen Julia Jackson and died after Jackson "dropped a Zozo la Brique". Jackson confronted him backstage in 1972 and told him that what he had said about her in his song was "a goddamned lie."[4][5]

Literary figure Ishmael Reed recognized Jackson as a theoretician of Neo-Hoodoo for her role in stripping Hoodoo of its oppressive Catholic influences.[6][7] Occultist Black Herman notes that Hoodoo practitioners in North America had to create and refashion loas, citing Jackson's theories as an example.[8]


  1. 1 2 3 Gaston, Jessie Ruth (2005). "The Case of Voodoo in New Orleans". In Holloway, Joseph E. Africanisms in American Culture (2nd ed.). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 144–145. ISBN 978-0-253-21749-3.
  2. Bodin, Ron (1990). Voodoo: Past and Present. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-940984-60-8.
  3. Rose, Al. "Account of the Notorious Red-Light District". CODA. 11 (7-12): 207.
  4. Thompson, Dave (2010). Bayou Underground: Tracing the Mythical Roots of American Popular Music (Unabridged ed.). Toronto, Ontario: ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55490-682-6.
  5. Dr. John; Rummel, Jack (1995). Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper (1st ed.). New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-312-13197-5.
  6. Juan-Navarro, Santiago (2000). "Displacing the Official Record: Ishmael Reed's Reinvention of Western History and Myth". Archival Reflections: Postmodern Fiction of the Americas (self-reflexivity, Historical Revisionism, Utopia). Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-0-8387-5427-6.
  7. Rothenberg, Diane; Rothenberg, Jerome (1983). Symposium of the Whole: A Range of Discourse Toward an Ethnopoetics. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 418. ISBN 978-0-520-04531-6.
  8. Mvuyekure, Pierre-Damien (2001). "From Legba to Papa Labas: New World Metaphysical Self/Re-fashioning in Ismael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo". The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 358. ISBN 978-0-253-21494-2.

Further reading

  • Rose, Al (1974). Storyville, New Orleans, Being an Authentic, Illustrated Account of the Notorious Red-light District. University: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 978-0-8173-4403-0. 
  • Tallant, Robert (1984). Voodoo in New Orleans. Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-4556-1369-4. 
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