In reality as well as in popular culture, witchcraft is one of the few places where women are written as bearers of immense power and granted respect.
The fact that there is so little representation of Black witches in film and television is symptomatic of a far larger issue that plagues society – the fear of the autonomy and dexterity of Black women. Within popular culture, accurate historical portrayals of such practices are sacrificed for a sensationalised and fetishised version[...] What makes it even worse is pop culture’s void of historicity. From Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean to the skipped over Bonnie in The Vampire Diaries, to angsty teen witch, Rochelle in the cult classic, The Craft; the Black witches that receive screen time, are outlines, lacking in substance, despite the greatly talented actresses that embody them.
Please note that this article makes use of the term “witches” as an all encompassing term that includes voodoo priestesses and rootworkers
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Thumbnail image: Angela Basset as Marie Laveau