Community well-being and the criminalization of magico-religious workers in Harlem, New York, during the 1920s.
There is no need to suffer when you can be happy and healthy. Why not state your case to Prof. S. Indoo? He will surely make your life change from one of misery to one of happiness.
Incense that drives away all evil spells and enemies, bring[s] peace, luck and happiness at home and aid in love affairs as well. Price $5. "Charms" that draw to you true friends and lost love.
Indoo's Kidney Mixture--A valuable remedy for kidney and bladder troubles. Price $1.50.
Indoo's Rheumatic Mixture--A guaranteed remedy for curing rheumatism. Price $1.50.
Indoo's Rub--For sprains, rheumatism, and bruises. Price $1.50. Do not wait--delays may be fatal. Act at once and get relieved. For further information call or write. No letters answered unless stamp is enclosed. I will be here for five years.
Professor S. Indoo
Studio 314 West 132d St.
New York City (1)
During the 1920s, the population of black Harlem, New York, expanded at such a high rate that by 1925 there were more than 200,000 residents. As the population grew, social and health conditions in Harlem rapidly deteriorated thus creating a need and market for magico-religious workers. (2) These individuals fused ideas relating to supernatural controls and phenomena, occult practices, and religious beliefs to provide answers and direction to their clientele in all matters important to community life including, but not limited to, money, family, and love, as well as physical and mental health.
The term magico-religious worker is necessarily broad to cover the spectrum of individual creativity, beliefs, practices, and cultural traditions from which they drew and utilized. It regards as integral an individual's willingness to consider the notion that the physicality and spirituality of the community were not mutually exclusive. It also takes into account the possibility that a segment of these practitioners may have been common opportunists peddling innocuous goods for quick monetary gain. In this way, self-described healers, clairvoyants, fortune tellers, magicians, mediums, "professors," and some Spiritualists, individuals who were concerned or feigned concern with emotional and spiritual realms of well-being and may have prescribed medicinal herbs or magical cures to heal an ailing body, were just as much a part of the health-related matrix as biomedical physicians.
The cultural heterogeneity and expanding nature of the Harlem community simultaneously allowed for the rise of magico-religious workers and placed the community under the influence of statewide and national policies and practices that addressed competing notions of health and well-being. Beginning in the early 1920s, ambitious medical professionals saw magico-religious workers as undermining the authority of the medical profession, preying on poor people's naivete, and contributing to the poor health of urban communities nationwide. Believing it was their duty to protect the citizens' health, medical physicians and legislators mounted a statewide and national movement to uproot magico-religious workers.
The campaign against Harlem's magico-religious workers demonstrates that daily local decisions and relationships related to wellness throughout the community were mediated by city, state, and national organizations and forces. Individuals and groups who failed to understand the dynamics and systems of segments of the Harlem community made decisions that impaired the ability of neighborhood residents to make rational choices concerning their health and well-being. The criminalization of magico-religious workers in Harlem ultimately failed but not without the harassment, incarceration, and elimination of many of those practitioners. Because the campaign could neither uproot the belief systems nor needs that allowed for and required the existence of magico-religious workers, it only succeeded in forcing them underground or to transform their operations. The interaction between the state and magico-religious workers thus provides a lens through which one can understand how multiple vectors of power and policy met to determine community relations and institutions vital to wellness in Harlem.
The number of self-identifying magico-religious workers in Harlem is unknown since they did not register with city agencies. An analysis of magico-religious worker's advertisements in the New York Amsterdam News from 1922 to 1926, however, provides a representative sample of and information about the presence and character of alternative medical practices in Harlem. (3) During this period, the critical years of black urbanization in Harlem, sixty-seven magico-religious workers advertised in the paper (see Table 1.1). These practitioners were diverse in terms of affiliation, gender, place of origin, and services offered. They can be divided into two main groups: independent workers and cultic workers. Independent workers operated as individuals in occult supply stores or solely in private settings. Cultic workers were usually affiliated with a religious group and practiced in public and private arenas. (4) Approximately thirty-seven practitioners, or fifty-five percent of the total number of magico-religious workers who advertised in the New York Amsterdam News from 1922 to 1926, were independent workers; thirty, or forty-five percent, were cultic workers. Four practitioners, or eleven percent of the total number of independent workers, were affiliated with remedy companies that provided herbal and occult items to assist patients in curing their illnesses. Each cultic worker advertised that they were affiliated with a religious institution. Where denominational affiliation could be determined, the majority of cultic workers were associated with Spiritualist churches. (5)
At first glance, the total number of male and female workers appears to be equal. Of the total number of magico-religious workers who advertised in the New York Amsterdam News from 1922 to 1926, thirty-three, or forty-nine percent, were women; thirty-four, or fifty-one percent, were men. Upon closer examination, healing emerges as a gendered domain when comparing independent with cultic workers. Almost thirty percent (29.7 percent) of independent workers were women, but they accounted for 72.4 percent of the total number of cultic workers. Men comprised 70.3 percent of the total number of independent workers, but only 26.6 percent of cultic workers. Even the titles healers used seem to have been gendered. A common title used among male workers was "Professor." In fact, the title appears to have been the exclusive property of men. Women who offered healing services do not appear to have promoted themselves as "Professors" or "Masters of Science." Instead, they used "Ms." or "Mrs."; only two, Elizabeth Robinson and Mary Hayden, used the title "Reverend." (6)
The gender discrepancy in the healing environment is partially explained by two factors. First, African-American women participated in church more than men. Sociologist Cheryl Gilkes calculates that across the variety of African-American religious activities, African-American women represented seventy-five to ninety percent of the participants. (7) Second, independent churches allowed for the creation of social support networks through which women had an easier time ascending to leadership and healing positions than in networks outside of the church. This does not mean that social support networks did not exist outside of churches. For example, Mrs. Lilly Boujour, Madame M. Childs, and Miss B. Ranking organized independent spiritual meetings in their 180 West 135th Street apartment which they transformed into an independent practice and healing space. (8) This categorization is not meant to suggest that all magico-religious workers and their traditions were identical or static. It only shows that there was a broad realm within which magico-religious workers practiced. These practitioners drew from multiple worldviews and used logic and rationales of their own that may not have included the logic and rationales of early twentieth-century social and health sciences. (9)
With the rise of the Islam alongside the growth of the black press in the United States in the 1920s, various representations of "Islam" and the "East" became associated with respectability. (10) Islam made inroads into black communities nationwide in the late 1910s and 1920s primarily through the Ahmadiyya Movement and the Moorish Science Temple. The Ahmadiyya Movement, a Pakistani Islamic sect created in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, had begun its missionary activities and organized several religious centers in Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, and Cincinnati by 1920 under the watchful gaze of the group's chief missionary, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq. With a focus on establishing a multiracial brotherhood, this organization attempted to appeal to African Americans who had been disenfranchised and lived on the margins of mainstream American social and political culture, but failed to convert large numbers of African Americans because of their deep connections with black Christianity. (11) With temples in Harlem, Chicago, and Detroit, the Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA) received as many as 30,000 converts during this period. Founded in Newark, New Jersey, by Noble Drew Ali, the MSTA succeeded where the Ahmadiyya Community could not because Ali "offered blacks a new 'Moorish' (or Moroccan) identity outside of the constraints of their status as Negroes and attempted to socialize them into a spiritual world in which a mythical 'Asiatic' past was the central focus." (12)
Some of Harlem's magico-religious workers' connection with "Mohammedism" was built on their conviction to practice Islam in America. Others, of course, made deliberate attempts to make their services, practices, and products more convincing to Harlem's black community. Since items from the Middle East were assumed to possess magical healing properties in contemporary American culture, claiming a connection to Islam and "Oriental" philosophies and items may have served to increase one's clientele. (13)
Other magico-religious workers identified with Spiritualism. "Black Herman" Racker, the healer, magician, and Spiritualist, was one of Harlem's most popular magico-religious workers because he associated his abilities with Spiritualism and a direct but mysterious African connection. Though congregations varied, Spiritualists and Spiritualist churches believed in the notion that the deceased play important roles in the daily affairs of society. To seek guidance, deliverance, luck, or positive influence, Spiritualists communicated with the dead. As anthropologist Hans Baer and historian Eugene Genovese note, the idea that the spirits of ancestors were involved with community and family life was prevalent among African American and West Indian communities throughout the South, the Caribbean, and in large cities. This belief allowed some blacks to be receptive to Spiritualism and combine some of its tenets with their own cultural matrix in the late nineteenth century. (14) During the early twentieth century, African Americans became institutionally affiliated with Spiritualism through the National Spiritualist Association (NSA). In 1922, black Spiritualists separated from the NSA to form the National Colored Spiritualist Association (NCSA), a loose confederation of black congregations throughout the United States. (15)
It is believed that Black Herman was an advocate of the separate black organization. In the late 1930s, he wrote Black Herman's Secrets of Magic--Mystery, and Legerdemain, a 133-page, "Four Volumes in One" text issued by Dorene Publishing Company, a publishing firm specializing in occultism and the supernatural. (16) The autobiographical information that appears in this short pamphlet paints Black Herman as a shrewd, tenacious businessman and the only magician in the world with knowledge passed down from the biblical Moses. He claims to have been born "five miles from a small town in the dark jungles of Africa" and brought to the United States by missionaries who placed him in a school in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the late nineteenth century. (17) Leaving school at a young age, Black Herman roamed the countryside allegedly learning to communicate with animals before establishing an eatery in Amherst, Virginia, and a contracting company in Lynchburg. After completing his education in Lynchburg, he left Virginia to study business in Cincinnati, Ohio. For seventeen years Herman traveled Asia, Africa, and Europe perfecting his magical abilities. While abroad, he allegedly turned a scarf into a snake in Cairo, Egypt, made friends with Hindu magicians in India, and narrowly escaped death at the hands of jewel thieves in China after refusing to steal a gem embedded in the head of a statue of Buddha. (18)
Black Herman's autobiography verges on the unbelievable, making it difficult to truly know where he learned his craft. His self-depiction, however, implies personal and community dynamism and experimentation that allowed him, Professor Edet Effiong, the "Mohammedan Master of Stricter African Science," and Professor Akpandanc to fuse "African," "Egyptian," and "Oriental" traditions to create a multivalent practice. The Harlem community allowed for personal re-creation wherein magico-religious workers could change their personae to appear more legitimate to neighborhood residents. (19)
Magico-religious systems and workers penetrated many aspects of adherents' lives. (20) Some residents visited magico-religious workers solely for assistance in resolving medical issues, but of the many who used this "alternative" medicine, most probably utilized services of both biomedical and magico-religious personnel. (21) Twenty-seven, or forty percent of magico-religious workers who advertised in the New York Amsterdam News from 1922 to 1926, made explicit references to the variety of healing services they offered (see Table 1.3). For example, Professor Edet Effiong claimed that he possessed a "large stock of medicine for curing almost all kinds of diseases." Reverend Elizabeth Robinson, the pastor of Independent Church of the Spiritual Temple of Truth, offered divine healing services for fifteen days where "all [who] are sick" could go, "be healed," and learn the "truth about healing." (22) In the summer of 1925, Mrs. Sytre Shearer, a Certified Associate Minister of the National Spiritualist Association and pastor of the Love and Truth Spiritualist Assembly, conducted spiritual healing treatments every Wednesday and Friday evening at eight o'clock. (23) Mrs. D.W., who resided at 153 West 130th Street, advertised that she, without exceptions, could cure "all sickness" and break "all evil spells." (24)
Treatment for physical ailments is only one reason that explains why someone might visit a magico-religious worker. Harlem residents also attached themselves to magico-religious workers who helped them with financial problems and counseled them in personal and domestic crises. Historian Victoria Wolcott points out that some magico-religious workers bolstered Harlem's informal economy by serving as advisors for the numbers, a game dating back to the eighteenth century wherein the "winning number was determined by the last three digits of the daily close of the stock market average." (25) To keep a lover home and to return wayward lovers, some workers prescribed Bringing Home Powder, a substance allegedly from the Bambara in West Africa. (26) For those who subscribed to this belief system, fortune telling not only provided individuals with a modicum of control over otherwise oppressive and uncontrollable situations, it also offered a source of power and knowledge not possessed by the ruling class. (27)
Health practitioners in New York City and throughout the United States saw magico-religious workers as practicing a form of medicine detrimental to the health of urban populations, especially poor, urban areas like Harlem. Consequently, state legislators passed laws and both medical societies and law enforcement agencies spearheaded a broad campaign to rid the city of seemingly ubiquitous, alternative medical practitioners. This campaign against individuals who allegedly practiced an alternative form of medicine was nothing new. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Progressives, by stressing expertise to promote urban reform and thus reinforcing the authority of science and medicine, contributed to the rise of medical professional sovereignty which widened the distance between doctors and patients. (28) During that period, physicians tried to protect the public from unlicensed, magico-religious workers by curbing the number of sectarians, including homeopaths and eclectics, who challenged physicians' practices. Upon realizing that the sheer number of alternative practitioners made it difficult to discredit them among the public, physicians were forced to make concessions by incorporating educated sectarians on licensing boards or creating separate boards for such groups as chiropractors and osteopaths. Basic medical science bills were submitted to state legislatures throughout the country to establish non-medical boards to assess applicants' knowledge of anatomy, pathology, and physiology. Applicants who passed the examination were then certified by medical licensing boards. (29) According to the growing medical profession and Progressive ideologues, only licensed doctors educated in accredited medical schools and who subscribed to the germ theory should be allowed to practice medicine. As Harry Eugene Kelly, a health activist from Chicago and proponent of this position, declared:
All persons who treat the sick as an occupation should be required to measure up to the same reasonable scholastic plane, be subjected to one and the same just standard of knowledge and skill, and be required to pass the same tests in the same fundamental subjects, before being permitted to try to heal the sick according to any method of treatment. (30)
In the early twentieth century, new methods were employed to combat magico-religious workers. In cities and states across the United States, law enforcement agencies, encouraged by medical societies, infiltrated establishments and charged magico-religious workers with crimes ranging from the illegal practice of medicine to fortune telling. During a six-week period between late April and early June 1922, Philadelphia law enforcement agents made over 150 arrests of "fraudulent medical practitioners and 'quack' doctor[s]" in the city. (31) Three years earlier, in 1919, Martin Krause, a self-proclaimed Spiritualist from Chicago, was found guilty of violating Section 2 of the Medical Practice Act of Illinois. The law stipulated that no one without a license to do so could practice medicine, treat human ailments, profess to treat, operate on, or prescribe medication for human ailments, but made exceptions for treating mental and spiritual illnesses. Krause's trouble began when two female police officers visited his business posing as customers seeking treatment. After complaining of illness, Miss Morley, one of the undercover police officers, was treated by Krause's "rubbing and ... laying on of the hands and otherwise manipulating upon the person of said Miss Morley." When this was done, Krause was arrested and charged. He was found guilty in the Second Branch Appellate Court for the First District and the Municipal Court of Chicago but, seeking to exhaust all of his options, Krause appealed his case to the Illinois Supreme Court. There, Krause and his lawyers maintained that he had laid his hands on his patient and asked God to cure the ailment, and by doing so his method of treatment was covered by the exception to the law. According to Morley's testimony, however, Krause's healing method mentioned nothing about spirits. This fact, combined with previous rulings, led the court to uphold the guilty verdict. (32)
In New York State, medical societies, the City of New York Department of Health, and legislative bodies also organized discursive assaults on magico-religious workers. (33) One of the most vocal medical organizations to debate strategies necessary to eliminate unconventional practitioners was the Medical Society of the County of New York. In its deliberations, the poor were invariably depicted as naive children and magico-religious workers as individuals bent on duping them. Members of the society believed that magico-religious workers spent between fifty and one hundred dollars annually on advertisements in non-mainstream newspapers convincing impressionable readers that they possessed a serious but curable ailment. After reading the advertisements, they attended consultations in which the healer cured their imagined ailment. After the healer obtained his/her fee, he/she would reinvest in advertisements to trick more readers. In the end, before he/she retired or was arrested, the healer extorted thousands of dollars from the poor. (34)
Eliminating these practices, society members argued, would only occur through educational and legislative means. To the medical community, it was imperative for settlement houses, non-profit and progressive organizations involved in acculturating immigrants, to give the working class and working poor "the proper conception [and] manner of doing things" which informs them "that these medical advertising quacks do not merit their attention and support."(35) The medical community also deemed it necessary to enact laws making it illegal for newspapers to publish medical advertisements unless they were first submitted to and accepted by the County Medical Society or the American Medical Association. If such actions were taken, according to the medical community, close to two-thirds of charlatans would be forced out of business. (36)
In both the Medical Society of the County of New York and the City of New York Department of Health, the discussion of "quackery" was problematic. First, it portrayed all magico-religious workers as con artists bent on duping the poor and working class. This depiction ignores the social benefit that many of these individuals may have provided for their community. Second, magico-religious workers, their patients, and modern, accredited medical practitioners were inextricably linked. This conceptualization sees individuals and their beliefs and practices as having a dynamic interaction that forms integrated and stable systems. Magico-religious workers and their patients were part of systematic bodies of thought that are fundamentally rational. They are bolstered by lengthy histories of ideas with reputations of efficacy sustained by experience, observation, and evaluative processes that originate among and/or are firmly held by those who use the system. When physicians criminalized magico-religious workers and rejected their methods and beliefs, they effectively wrested individuals' autonomy in making health decisions. (37)
In an attempt to dissuade magico-religious workers from practicing their trade in New York, the State Assembly and Senate instituted harsher penalties for those found guilty of practicing medicine without a license. This was commonly called the Medical Practice Bill. In the winter of 1922, Joseph Loscalzo, an assemblyman and lawyer from Queens, New York, introduced legislation to amend the public health law making the unauthorized practice of medicine and advertising to practice medicine without proper licensing a felony rather than a misdemeanor. (38) Simultaneously, the State Senate debated the merits of the Bloomfield Bill, which sought to give law enforcement greater authority than Loscalzo's Bill in arresting suspects and more clearly delineate fines and penalties meted out to guilty parties. The Bloomfield Bill stipulated that the unauthorized practice of medicine as well as advertising to practice medicine without proper licensing constituted a felony; any person found aiding or abetting another to practice medicine without a license would be charged with a misdemeanor. Those parties found guilty of violating any part of the act would be subject to a fine ranging from $100 to $500 for each violation. For subsequent violations, guilty parties would be subject to a fine of $500-$1,000 or imprisonment for one to five years, or both. (39)
Because "the burden of protecting the public against the cults and the quacks is a heavy one for the medical profession to bear," physicians supported both bills. Many of them considered such legislation an important part of their anti-quackery campaign. (40) Some physicians and politicians, however, opposed these laws. Lucius Herz, a physician, called the Bloomfield Medical Practice Act "plainly unenforceable." To Herz, the campaign against magico-religious workers did not call for new legislation, rather it required a new commitment from the State Department of Education and officials of the Medical Society of the County of New York who must agree not to issue medical certificates to unconventional healers of any kind. Once this new commitment was apparent, the State Assembly and Senate could enact legislation for the complete elimination of "quacks." (41) Governor Nathan Miller also opposed the Medical Practice Act. In his veto memorandum, Miller sympathized with the larger purpose of the bill but maintained that it would prove unenforceable because "the provisions for civil penalties and for criminal prosecutions are so commingled as to create too much uncertainty and ambiguity for a criminal statute of such severity." (42) Miller's veto of the bill did not hamper legislators' and physicians' efforts to create other medical practice bills. After AI Smith succeeded Miller as governor, legislators drafted a number of bills seeking to stem the tide of illegal medical practitioners. In the winter of 1924, several bills were introduced calling for doctors to register with the State Education Department at different intervals ranging from one to five years but none were ratified. Dr. Augustus Downing, Assistant State Education Commissioner, submitted his own bill which called for doctors to register annually, but after considerable debate concerning its inadequacy, he decided to support the Carroll-Lattin Bill. That bill provided for the annual registration of doctors with the State Education Department, the prosecution of "quacks" by the Attorney General, and the prohibition of both fraudulent advertising and the use of the title "doctor" by unqualified laymen. (43) By having doctors register, Downing and his colleagues reasoned, it would be easy to root out unregistered "quacks." Despite testimony by James N. Vanderver, a physician and member of the State Medical Society, that eighty percent of physicians in New York State supported the passage of the bill, the proposed statute never made it out of the State Assembly. (44)
Despite this failure to enact medical practice bills, New York City physicians had seen how law enforcement in other cities kept "the wolves of medical quackery" at bay. They were convinced that their municipality could follow suit and achieve similar results. When the City of New York Department of Health announced that it would increase its efforts to eliminate magico-religious workers from New York State in February 1924, it had the support of medical associations in all five boroughs, the New York State Medical Society, and the State Commissioner of Education. (45)
Increasing public awareness of magico-religious workers through educational programs was seen as an important strategy against illegal doctors. The City of New York Department of Health and the Medical Society of the County of New York worked with radio broadcasting companies to present health information, conduct health talks to insure that "proper" medical information was disseminated, distribute pamphlets on medical issues, and create the Public Health Reserve Corps, a group of working class people employed by the Health Department to report incidents of quack newspaper advertisements to the agency. (46)
The other strategy to end "quackery" in New York City was to arrest and charge magico-religious workers with legal infractions through the Division of Illegal Medicine. The Division began its work in the spring of 1926 under the auspices of the City of New York Department of Health to detect, investigate, and facilitate the prosecution of unconventional medical practitioners. (47) It possessed considerable power under the Webb-Loomis Law, passed and signed by Governor Smith in May 1926. The law provided for the annual registration of physicians, prohibited the use of the title of "doctor" except by physicians, the sale of a license or diploma, the practice of medicine without a license, and advertising under an assumed name. It also called upon the Board of Regents to establish a ten-member Grievance Committee to hear complaints against licensed physicians, provided that the practice of medicine without a license would be held as evidence of negligence when death or injury resulted from treatment of an unlicensed practitioner. It also gave more prosecutorial power to the District Attorney. (48) Armed with this new law, the Division of Illegal Medicine joined forces with the City of New York Department of Health and the District Attorney's Office to carry out an intensive campaign against unconventional medical practitioners.
Once the Webb-Loomis Law took effect on January 1, 1927, the number of magico-religious workers arrested and indicted for practicing medicine without a license skyrocketed. (49) Conservative estimates suggest that in 1924 there were close to 3,500 magico-religious workers in New York State, 1,500 of them operating within New York City. (50) A report issued by Dr. Harold Rypins, Secretary of the State Board of Examiner to the Society of Medical Jurisprudence, claimed that the Webb-Loomis Act was responsible for eliminating 1,000 illegal practitioners within a year of its enactment. (51)
Harlem's magico-religious workers were not immune to anti-quackery campaigns and were often charged with practicing medicine without a license and fortune telling. Biomedical practitioners and black intellectuals believed that alternative medical practitioners' popularity among the working class and working poor in Harlem made them a nuisance to the health of the community. Law enforcement agencies organized campaigns involving male and female police officers and investigators to capture healers. Because women were disproportionately represented among those seeking medical assistance in healing establishments, female officers and investigators were used to infiltrate healing businesses to avoid suspicion and detection. While the characters differed from case to case, the formula was the same: a state or city employee feigning illness visited an unconventional healer seeking help and the unsuspecting healer gave a diagnosis and prescribed methods to cure the ailment. Upon doing so, the healer was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. (52)
In July 1923, Sarah Ahern, an officer in the Women's Precinct, and another female officer visited Professor Joseph Domingo, the "World Wonder Spiritualist," complaining of an illness and seeking a cure. The arrest made the front page of the July 18, 1923 issue of the New York Amsterdam News. The paper gave a quaint scenario of the interaction that took place at Domingo's "magical parlor" at 132 West 129th Street:
Ahern: I am feeling so bad, professor, and the medicine you gave my friend here has done her so much good that I have come to get some of it myself.
Domingo: What's the matter?
Ahern: I have had headaches and a dizzy spell. I've been to all the doctors and they can't do any good.
Domingo: I'll cure you. Ten dollars, please.
Ahern: But, oh professor, I'm a poor women and can't pay that much. The doctors have taken away all my money. All I have is $5.
Domingo: All right, I'll take the $5. Give it to me. [Afterwards, Domingo produces a white pasty oil.]
Ahern: What's that, Professor?
Domingo: African Palm Oil. Loosen your garments. [Domingo rubs the oil on Ahern's chest.]
Ahern: It stings, professor.
Domingo: Oh, that's the evil spirit leaving.
Ahern: Ah, professor. You're a wonder. I feel like a new woman. Let me introduce my friend and myself. The lady you cured last week is Mrs. Radison; I am Sarah Ahern. Both of us are policewomen from the Women's Precinct and we will have to trouble you to come along for practicing medicine without a physician's license. (53)
While one can assume that the reporter used some creative license in reporting the story, this episode offers some idea of the subterfuge used by law enforcement officers in their efforts to rid the city of magico-religious workers. Domingo was held on $300 bail; no records are available to determine the outcome of his arrest. (54)
A similar incident occurred in October 1925, when Policewoman Sarah Bahr and Detective Mary MacDonald visited Professor Eatharin Monodu at 243 West 133rd Street. During the hearing, one of the policewomen testified that she visited Monodu seeking relief for an aching knee. After listening to her complaints, Monodu offered her a bottle of medication for $2.50 at which point the arrest was made. Monodu was held on $1,500 bail, but, as in the case with Domingo, little else is known concerning the outcome of his arrest. (55)
While men may have been charged more often with practicing medicine without a license, women were more frequently charged with fortune telling. The arrest and indictment of Anna Hall, an ordained minister in the Spiritual Church located at 308 West 138th Street, demonstrates that fortune tellers associated with unorthodox churches were not immune to infiltration by policewomen. In Hall's case, three policewomen, Sarah Barr, Julia Hart, and Mary Sullivan, posed as Bloomingdale Department Store clerks when they entered Hall's church to pray, sing hymns, and have their fortunes told. As in the cases of Domingo and Monodu, Hall was arrested after rendering services. She refused to plead guilty to the charges, opted for a trial, was found guilty and sentenced to pay a fine of fifty dollars or spend thirty days in jail. During sentencing, Hall stated that she was unable to pay the exorbitant fine and haggled with the judge to reduce the fine to thirty dollars. She paid the fine and was released. (56)
While magico-religious workers were subject to arrest, they were not passive victims. In a statement to the health commissioner, Dr. S. Dana Hubbard, Director of the Bureau of Health Education, wrote that a Harlem woman posing as a Christian Scientist, disappeared after the City of New York Department of Health began an investigation of her. (57) Ahem and other policewomen reported that magico-religious workers developed a "highly organized system of warning each other of the activities of police" bent on putting them out of business. (58) In other instances, the names policewomen gave when seeking consultations were checked out and found to be false. After discovering the conspiracy, magico-religious workers revealed the fake names and intentions of these policewomen to their colleagues. Sometimes healers would simply refuse service to individuals suspected of being informants or undercover police officers. (59)
By 1929, the City of New York Department of Health and medical societies were satisfied with the considerable decrease of "quacks" throughout the city and state. However, magico-religious workers in Harlem continued to exist. That they continued to practice in Harlem demonstrates that the campaign against them by medical and state authorities was ineffective. Harlem's magico-religious workers were able to continue to offer their services to neighborhood residents for various reasons. Rooting out "quacks" and "quackery" was not synonymous with improving community conditions or providing other means by which Harlem residents could resolve personal problems. The need for the services of magico-religious workers persisted because they provided Harlemites with guidance on their life journey. In order to remove them from the community, authorities had to erase the collective memory of many residents, decrease the perceived need for magico-religious worker's services, and convince Harlem residents that these practitioners were all frauds. They did none of these. Magico-religious workers had been part of the African American experience for centuries. The varying types of healers, rootworkers, and conjure folk performed tasks similar to an urban magico-religious worker, despite their differences in settings and times: they empowered the disempowered, explained the inexplicable, and some successfully resolved problems that medical doctors could not.
As Table 1.2 illustrates, some magico-religious workers continued to exist because, like Professor Joseph Domingo and Professor Haffaney, they transformed their practices to manufacture and distribute hoodoo goods. Rather than explicitly offering healing services, a number of magico-religious workers began to specialize in the mass production of traditional spirit-embodying and spirit-directing items thus creating an elaborate exchange of services and goods for charms. (60) Others, it seems, became affiliated with religious organizations. In the 1930s and 1940s, there is a noticeable decrease in the number of independent magico-religious workers who advertised in the New York Amsterdam News. Fewer advertisements in the newspaper, however, did not necessarily mean that magico-religious workers did not exist or that their services were not utilized. In 1944, Reverend Bonanno promoted his healing powers and quick results. That same year, Reverend Burns claimed to have the power to remove "witchcraft, spells, and crossings." (61) Perhaps fear of harassment and criminalization discouraged magico-religious workers from publicizing their practice. During this same period, one notices an increase in the number of magico-religious workers who advertised as cultic workers. Affiliation with a Spiritualist church perhaps provided a modicum of protection against criminalization as faith healing was considered part of a religious identity and creed.
The limited nature of extant sources does not allow researchers to make claims of whether magicians cast the correct spells, mediums contacted the departed, information fortune tellers revealed actually occurred, or if people hit the number. Whether or not magico-religious workers, their charms, herbs, and spells possessed curative powers is subject to question and speculation. What one can be sure of is their ability to help their clients take control of their lives and the healing process. That individuals repeatedly frequented magico-religious workers' homes, churches, and offices suggests that these practitioners, to some degree, effectively addressed their client's concerns, problems, and ailments.
Magico-religious workers and the beliefs that made their existence possible overlapped and supplemented biomedical ideas and practitioners. (62) Harlem residents had no way of assisting those magico-religious workers who were harassed, fined, or incarcerated. For each magico-religious worker who left the community or limited their services, there was one less individual to assist in creating and maintaining public well-being. The elimination of even one magico-religious worker throughout Harlem reduced the quality of wellness care by limiting overall healing options in the community. In the end, the campaign against magico-religious workers was an attempt to remove community decision-making from Harlem residents.
(1) "Advertisement: Spiritualists," New York Amsterdam News, January 1, 1925, 14.
(2) Harlem's death rate remained relatively constant throughout the 1920s. From 1923 to 1927, the average death rate was 16.2 deaths per 1,000. Harlem's general mortality rate of 16.2 was slightly lower than the black death rate nationwide, but it exceeded Manhattan's mortality rate of 14.3 and New York City's general mortality rate of 11.4. This suggests that Harlem's residents were apparently healthier than blacks throughout the country yet considerably less healthy than fellow residents of New York City. In the 1920s, heart disease, pneumonia, and tuberculosis were the three leading causes of death in Harlem. See Department of Heath, Bureau of Records, Vital Statistics: Condensed Annual Reports, 1930-1939 (New York: Bureau of Records and Statistics, Department of Health, City of New York, 1940), 1-5; Winfred Nathan, Health Conditions in North Harlem (New York: National Tuberculosis Association Research Series, 1932), 19.
(3) The New York Amsterdam News, one of Harlem's most popular newspapers, catered to its readerships' tastes and concerns. Unlike other area papers, it provided weekly advertisements of magico-religious workers.
(4) Hans Baer, The Black Spiritual Movement: A Religious Response to Racism (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1984), 148-49.
(5) In his 1926 survey of Harlem churches, sociologist Ira Reid identified twenty-six churches that subscribed to religious healing practices. See Ira Reid, "Let us Prey! [sic]" Opportunity 4 (September 1926):274.
(6) See Jamie Jaywann Wilson, "Sickness, Health, and the Politics of Well-Being in Harlem, New York, During the Interwar Period" (Ph.D. diss., York University, 2005).
(7) See Cheryl Gilkes, "Together and in Harness: Women's Traditions in the Sanctified Church," Signs 10:4 (Summer 1985):679.
(8) "Advertisement: Spiritualists," New York Amsterdam News, November 3, 1926, 14.
(9) See David Hufford, "Folk Healers," in Handbook of American Folklore, ed. Richard Dorson (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1983), 306-13; David Hufford, "Traditions of Disbelief," New York Folklore Quarterly 8, nos. 3/4 (Winter 1983):47-55; David Hufford, "The Supernatural and the Sociology of Knowledge: Explaining Academic Belief," New York Folklore 9, nos. 1/2 (Summer 1983):21-30; David Hufford, The Terror that Comes in the Night: An Experienced-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982).
(10) Susan Nance, "Respectability and Representation: The Moorish Science Temple, Morocco, and Black Public Culture in 1920s Chicago," American Quarterly 54, no. 4 (December 2002):623-59.
(11) Richard Brent Turner, Islam in the African American Experience (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997), 109-46.
(12) Claude Clegg, An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1997), 19.
(13) Historian T.J. Jackson Lears notes that by the 1840s "Orientalism pervaded the exotic visions of abundance put forward by everyone from Barnum to the editors of ladies magazines. It was ripe with suggestions of oceanic boundlessness and a return to maternal origins." See T.J. Jackson Lears, Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America (New York: Basic Books, 1994), 40-42, 51-53, 63. Samples of magico-religious workers who clearly identified with so-called "Eastern" and "Oriental" practices include Professors Eyo and Du Jaja, who described themselves as "Independent Mohammedian Scientist, and Professor Alpha Rocktabja, who belived himself to be an Arabian Mystic Seer and Master of Ancient Mysteries. See Nance, "Respectability and Representation," 623-59.
(14) Baer, The Black Spiritualist Movement, 114; Eugene Genovese. Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York: Random House Books, 1974), 217.
(15) The National Spiritualist Association of Churches was organized in 1893. Its official publication, The National Spiritualist, relates the history of the organization, religious musings, theology, personalities of the NSA, and its relationship with the NCSA. While extant copies of the periodical are limited, The National Spiritualist was published monthly from 1919 until the early 1960s. See also James Lewis, The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions (New York: Prometheus Books, 1998), 354; Baer, The Black Spiritualist Movement.
(16) Black Herman, Black Herman's Secrets of Magic--Mystery & Legerdemain (Dallas: Dorene Publishing Co., 1938; repr., Dallas: Dorene Publishing Co., 1967).
(17) Ibid., 9.
(18) Ibid., 10-18.
(19) Black Herman appears to have succeeded in that endeavor. He became a regular at Liberty Hall, the convention center for the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and gave a private reading to Marcus Garvey. "Magician Predicts Jail of Marcus Garvey," New York Amsterdam News, May 30, 1923, 3. Almost three years later, on January 11, 1926, Black Herman gave a demonstration in "Occidental Magic" along with Professor Agustus Caesar [sic], "The White European Mystic," at Liberty Hall for the UNIA Mortgage and Building Fund. New York Amsterdam News, January 6, 1926, 11.
(20) It is impossible to quantify the number of individuals who frequented independent and cultic magico-religious workers, but in a 1938 WPA study, Ellen Tarry found that there were five Spiritualist Churches, forty-six General Assembly of Spiritualists with 908 members, two National Spiritualists Alliances of the United States of America with forty members, ten National Spirit Association Churches with 464 members, and one Progressive Spirit Church with ninety-seven members. While this only covers one year, the study and the number of advertisements illustrates the importance of magico-religious workers. Ellen Tarry, "Negro Church Today," [n.d.], WPA Research Papers, Manuscript Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library's Research Libraries, New York, New York; Frank Rafsky, "Harlem's Religious Zealots," Tomorrow 9 (November 1949): 11-15.
(21) Joe S. Graham, "Folk Medicine and Intracultural Diversity Among West Texas Mexican Americans," Western Folklore 44, no. 3 (July 1985): 168-93.
(22) "Advertisement: Spiritualists," New York Amsterdam News, February 3, 1926, 11.
(23) Ibid., June 3, 1925, 10; July 8, 1925, 10.
(24) Ibid., February 24, 1926, 11. See also Gaius Clenn Atkins, Modern Religious Cults and Movements, Dupree African American Pentecostal and Holiness Collection, 1876-1989, Box 13, Folder 6, 1923, Manuscript Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library's Research Libraries.
(25) See Victoria Wolcott, "The Culture of the Informal Economy: Numbers Runners in Inter-War Black Detroit," Radical History Review 69 (Fall 1997):52, 60; Victoria Wolcott, "Mediums, Messages, and Lucky Numbers: African-American Female Spiritualists and Numbers Runners Inter-War Detroit," in The Geography of Identity, ed. Patricia Yeager (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1996), 273-84; Loudell Snow, "Mail Order Magic: Commercial Exploitation of Folk Belief," Journal of the Folklore Institute 1, no. 2 (January-August 1979):44-74; George McCall, "Symbiosis: The Case of Hoodoo & the Numbers Racket," Social Problems 10 (Spring 1963):361-71; Gustav G. Carlson, "Numbers Gambling: A Study of a Culture Complex" (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1940). For a cataloguing of spiritual goods, see Carolyn Long, Spiritual Merchants: Religion, Magic, and Commerce (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2001).
(26) "Advertisement: Spirtualists," New York Amsterdam News, February 11, 1925, 9.
(27) Yvonne Patricia Chireau, "Conjuring: An Analysis of African American Folk Beliefs and Practices" (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1994), 58; Ronald LaMarr Sharps, "Happy Days and Sorrow Songs: Interpretations of Negro Folklore by Black Intellectuals" (Ph.D. diss., George Washington University, 1991); Jean Wealmont Robinson, "Black Healers During the Colonial Period and Early 19th Century America" (Ph.D. diss., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1979). See also Bruce Jackson, "The Other Kind of Doctor: Conjure and Magic in Black American Folk Medicine," in American Folk Medicine, ed. Wayland Hand (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1976), 259-72.
(28) See Paul Starr, The Social Transformation of Medicine (New York: Basic Books, 1982).
(29) [Wilson C. Woodward], "Report of the Bureau of Legal Medicine and Legislation," Journal of the American Medical Association 80, no. 26 (June 30, 1923): 1921-25.
(30) David A. Strickler, "Essential Principles of a Medical Practice Act," Journal of the American Medical Association 85, no. 15 (April 11, 1925):1125-26.
(31) Medical Society of the County of New York, "Will New York Suppress Illegal Doctors," The New York Medical Week, l, no. 23 (June 24, 1922):7.
(32) The People of the State of Illinois vs. Martin Krause, 291 Ill. 64; 125 N.E. 726; 1919 Ill. LEXIS 819. The record does not give Krause's sentence. In other cases around the country, individuals were sentenced to one to three years in a state penitentiary. See also Medical Society of the County of New York, "Will New York Suppress Illegal Doctors," 7.
(33) "Say Quacks Imperil Health of State," New York Times, March 4, 1926, 22.
(34) Medical Society of the County of New York, "The Foreign Language Press and the Immigrant," The New York Medical Week 1, no. 3 (February 4, 1922):3-4; Medical Society of the County of New York, "How Medical Quacks Enmesh Immigrants Here," The New York Medical Week 1, no. 3 (February 4, 1922):6. From the Annual Report on Civic Policy to the Medical Society of the County of New York, "Extent of Medical Quackery Among Immigrants Here," The New York Medical Week 1, no. 12 (April 8, 1922): 12.
(35) From the Annual Report on Civic Policy to the Medical Society of the County of New York, "Medical Quackery vs. Americanization," The New York Medical Week 1, no. 15 (February 18, 1922):13.
(36) Medical Society of the County of New York, "The Foreign Language Press and the Immigrant," 3-4; From the Annual Report on Civic Policy to the Medical Society of New York, "Medical Quackery vs. Americanization," 13.
(37) There are a number of different vernacular health-belief systems in the United States, but they all have among their basic values the prompt, appropriate intervention by proper specialists who lie outside the boundaries of conventional medicine. Bonnie Blair O'Connor, Healing Tradition: Alternative Medicine and the Health Professions (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), 32; Wonda Fontenot, Secret Doctors: Ethnomedicine of African Americans (Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey, 1994), 36-45.
(38) New York State Legislative Bills, Assembly No. 1380-1831, February 28, 1922, Introductory Bill Number 1437.
(39) New York State Legislative Bills, Senate 448-883, February 7, 1922, Introductory Bill Number 537.
(40) Medical Society of the County of New York, "The Fight Must Continue," New York Medical Week 1, no. 14 (April 22, 1922):4.
(41) Augustus Downing, "Public Forum: Will Re-registration End Medical Quackery?" The New York Medical Week 1, no. 18 (May 25, 1922):10-13.
(42) Nathan L. Miller, "Governor Miller on the Medical Practice Act," The New York Medical Week 1, no. 19 (June 1, 1922):5. New York Public Libraries and New York State Libraries have no records of governors' veto memoranda from 1905 to 1925 because they were destroyed by fire. Fortunately, Governor Miller's veto memorandum of the Bloomfield Medical Practice Act was printed in its entirety in The New York Medical Week.
(43) "Differ on Quack Bill," New York Times, February 13, 1924, 21; "2500 Fake Doctors Said To Be In State," New York Times, March 27, 1924, 21.
(44) Ibid.; "Bills Flood Senate in Closing Hours," New York Times, April 11, 1924, 2. In the winter of 1925, John L. Karle, a Republican from Queens, submitted a similar bill requiring the annual registration of doctors. It met the same fate. See "500 Bills Offered in Albany Sessions," New York Times, January 21, 1925, 2.
(45) Medical Society of the County of New York, "Wake Up, New York!" The New York Medical Week 1, no 17 (May 13, 1922):3-5; "1500 Quacks Here, Says State Survey," New York Times, February 16, 1924, 15.
(46) WNYC, the public radio station, sponsored the program "The Public Health Reserve Corps," hosted by Dr. H.R Swift. See "Today's Radio Programs," New York Times, April 21, 1925, 19; "Doctor's Ask [for] Help in War on Quacks," New York Times, May 5, 1925, 4; "Harris Ends Corps of Health Workers," New York Times', February 14, 1926, 17.
(47) City of New York Department of Health, "On Quacks and Quackery," Weekly Bulletin 15, no. 15 (April 10, 1926):58.
(48) Harold Rypins, "Webb-Loomis Bill," New York Times, April 20, 1926, 26.
(49) On February 18, 1927 alone Chief Magistrate McAdoo issued forty warrants for the arrest of magico-religious workers.
(50) "1500 Quacks Here, Says State Survey," New York Times, February 16, 1924, 15.
(51) "Says New Law Ousted 1,000 Quacks in Year," New York Times, December 13, 1927, 15. Of this number, perhaps 300 were "ousted" from Harlem.
(52) Contemporary newspapers detail, in some cases at great length, the arrests and trials of alternative medical practitioners. Most court cases involving these healers have no existing trial transcript or opinion because they were probably settled out of court, did not warrant an opinion, or have been destroyed.
(53) "Policewomen Nab Prof. Domingo," New York Amsterdam News', July 18, 1923, 1, 3. The criminalization of magico-religious workers in Harlem also allows one to make the tentative argument that neighborhood magico-religious workers had an interracial clientele. Since the New York Amsterdam News' often reported the race of individuals in their articles, one can conclude that all of the arresting officers were white. That healers provided services to them suggests that their presence in Spiritualist churches or Domingo's magic parlor was not always unusual or suspect. Such an idea becomes even more convincing when one considers the large number of white bohemians who slummed to Harlem during the 1920s when the Negro was in vogue. See Kevin Mumford, Interzones: Black and White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997); David Levering Lewis, When Harlem Was in Vogue (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989).
(54) Domingo was infiltrated again in March 1925 by Virneck White, a police officer, charged with fortune telling, and sentenced to two months in the workhouse. See "Prophet Jailed," New York Amsterdam News, March 11, 1925, 1. The article states that Domingo had two previous convictions, but it is unclear if the 1923 arrest for practicing medicine without a license was one of them.
(55) "Professor Monodu Arrested," New York Amsterdam News, October 1, 1925, 1.
(56) A search of legal databases does not reveal the number of cases involving fortune tellers but the New York Amsterdam News reported eight cases of individuals arrested and charged with fortune telling from 1923 to 1926. For details on the Hall case, see "Spiritualist Fined $50 or 30 Days for Peering Into the Future," New York Amsterdam News, October 14, 1925, 9.
(57) "1500 Quacks Here, Says State Survey," New York Times, February 16, 1924, 15.
(58) "Inquiry on Quacks is Set for Tuesday," New York Times, March 27, 1925, 19.
(60) See Long, Spiritual Merchants; Karen M Brown, Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991).
(61) "Advertisement: Spiritualists," New York Amsterdam News, February 19, 1944, 6B.
(62) See Hans Baer, Biomedicine and Alternative Healing Systems in America (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001), 148; Gilbert Cooley, "Root Doctors and Psychics in the Region," Indiana Folklore 10, no. 2 (Fall 1977):191-200.
JAMIE WILSON is an Assistant Professor of History at Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts.
Table 1.1. Names, Titles, Affiliations, and Addresses of Magico-religious workers who advertised in the New York Amsterdam News, 1922 to 1926 Name Title and Affiliation Address 1. Grace Gray Independent 420 West Wayne De Long Street, GA 2. Professor Independent Magician, 360 Hudson Avenue, Akpan Aga Spiritualist Brooklyn 3. D. Alexander Independent 99 Downing Street, Brooklyn 4. S. Garrett Church of Divine Spirit 184 South Elliott Place, Brooklyn 5. Professor Thomas Independent Master 523 Washington Ogunshola of Science Avenue, Brooklyn 6. Professor Phoenix Independent Divine 607 Willoughby Ave, Healer Brooklyn 7. Hindoo Sy Independent Healer 407 Cumberland Street, Brooklyn 8. Mr. Teyuna Yaga Independent Healer 1154 Fulton Street, Brooklyn 9. Reverend Pastor, St. James 341 West 59th Mary Hayden Spiritualist Church Street of the Soul 10. Mrs. E Harris Messenger, Redemption 251 West 111th of Souls Spiritualist Street Church 11. Mrs. M. Morris Pastor, Spiritualist 250 West 121st Church of Christ Street Teaching 12. Rev. Elizabeth Pastor, Independent 214 West 123rd Robinson Church of the Spiritual Street Temple of Truth 13. Mrs. Hettie St. Matthews 45 West 127th Johnson Spiritualist Church Street 14. Dr. Joseph Moe Minister, Disciplines 50 West 127th of the Kingdom of Street Metaphysical Church 15. Mme Melvina Spiritualist Medium 211 West 127th Thomas Protection League Street 16. Bertha Burton St. Anthony's 270 West 127th Spiritualist Church Street 17. Professor Independent Healer 24 West 128th Domingo Street 18. Madam Independent Healer 255 West 128th Street 19. Joseph Hummel Independent Healer 16 East 129th Street 20. Henry Kissner Independent Healer 16 East 129th Street 21. Rev. Oscar Independent Healer 16 East 129th Whalen Street 22. Professor Independent Mohammedan 142 West 129th Du Jaja Scientist Street 23. Professor Professor of African, 206 West 129th Akpandac Oriental, Occultism, Street Psychic Science, White and Black Magic 24. Madam De Zonto Medium 233 West 129th Street 25. Green Faith Healer 43 West 130th Street 26. Mr. F.A. Summers Redemption of Souls 111 West 130th Spiritualist Church Street 27. Mrs. EA. Summers Redemption of Souls 111 West 130th Spiritualist Church Street 28. Minnie Hamilton Redemption of Souls 111 West 130th Spiritualist Church Street 29. Miss Selma Healer, First Emanuel 105 West 130th Fisherman Church Street 30. Mrs. D.W. Independent Healer 153 West 130th Street 31. Professor Independent Master of 238 West 130th S.M. Haffaney Mystic Science Street 32. L.A. Okie Independent Healer 249 West 130th Street 33. Madame Independent 39 West 131st Francis White Clairvoyant, Healer Street 34. Professor Alpha Arabian Mystic Seer 139 West 131st Roktabija and Master of Ancient Street Mysteries 35. Mother Louis Lecturer, Messenger 169 West 131st Judson Hall Bearer Temple of Street Inspired Souls 36. Professor Independent Master 248 West 131st Effiong Offiong of Science Street 37. Dr. B. Grant Independent Healer 264 West 131st Street 38. Chauncey Johnson Pastor, Holy 147 West 132nd Divine Church Street 39. Mr. Cake Independent White 57 West 133rd Magician Street 40. Rev. Thomas Pastor, Temple of 113 West 133rd R. Hall St. John Spiritual, Street Inc. 41. Brother Johnson Independent Healer 134 West 133rd Street 42. Professor Independent Healer 214 West 133rd S. Indoo Street 43. Mrs. Lilly President, Spiritual 180 West 135th Boujour Meetings Street 44. Madame M. Independent Spiritual 180 West 135th Childs Meetings Street 45. Miss B. Rankin Independent Spiritual 180 West 135th Meetings Street 46. Professor Eyo Independent Mohammedan 243 West 135th Scientist Street 47. Professor Independent Magician, 243 West 135th Salindukec Healer Street 48. Albert Pointer President, Jehovah- 211 West 136th Jireh Spiritualist Street Church 49. Mrs. Catherine Universal Spiritual 206 West 138th Murray-Brown Church Street 50. Mrs. E.L. Allen Pastor, Unity 322 West 139th Spiritualist Church Street 51. Mrs. M. Freeman Independent Healer 149 West 140th Street 52. Mrs. E.A Pastor, Lighthouse 216 West 140th McCallister Spiritualists Mission Street 53. Mrs. Sytre Pastor, Love and Truth 275 West 140th Shearer Spiritual Assembly Street 54. Mrs. Minnie Independent Spiritual 230 West 142nd Chiles Medium Street 55. Sister Rosie Pastor, Liberty 103 West 143rd PA. Braxton Spiritual Church Street 56. Mrs. Emma St. Peter's Spiritual 269 West 146th McDowell Church Street 57. Madame Chappelle Independent Healer 52 Bradhurst Avenue Strand 58. Ms. Pearl Edmunds Beautiful Eden Free 2119 Fifth Avenue Psychic Church 59. Madam Oneita Leader, Love and 423 Lenox Avenue N. Jones Friendship Spiritualist Church 60. Madam Droze Madam Droze's Circle 2048 Seventh Avenue 61. Rev. Mrs. Pastor, Allen Memorial 2297 Seventh Avenue J.T. Bufford Spiritualist Church 62. Mrs. E. Coleman President, Calvary 2441 Seventh Avenue Spiritual Church 63. Jos. H. Johnson Leader, Unity 2525 Seventh Avenue Practical Chris- tianity Church 64. Prophet Bess Independent Healer 2548 Eighth Avenue 65. Mrs. M.H. Fulton- Leader, Progressive 398 St. Nicholas Williams Spiritualist Church Avenue 66. Mr. A.D. Williams President, Progressive 398 St. Nicholas Spiritualist Church Avenue 67. Professor Edet Mohammedan Master of 452 St. Nicholas Effiong Stricter African Avenue Science Table 1.2. Remedy Companies advertising in the New York Amsterdam News (November 1922--November 1926) Name Proprietor Address 1. Asia & Africa Professor 142 West 129th Street Remedy Co. Du Jaja 2. Illadin Remedy Co. Abaf Z.A. 238 West 130th Street Mormardo 3. Fort Court Remedy Co. Professor 247 West 131st Street S.M. Haffaney 4. Oku Aba Co. Unknown 307 West. 139th Street 5. Lenox Distributing Co. Unknown 833 Lenox Avenue 6. Kano Remedy Company Professor 574 St. Nicholas Avenue Domingo 7. Nigeria Remedy Company Professor 680 St. Nicholas Avenue Edet Effiong 8. The Velo Co. Unknown 179 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago Table 1.3. Magico-religious workers who advertised their abilities to heal in the New York Amsterdam News (November 1922-November 1926) Name Title and Affiliation Address 1. D. Alexander Independent 99 Downing Street, Brooklyn 2. Professor Thomas Master of Science 523 Washington Avenue, Ogunshola (Independent) Brooklyn 3. Rev. Elizabeth Pastor, Independent 214 West 123rd Street Robinson Church of the Spiritual Temple of Truth 4. Dr. Joseph Moe Minister, Disciplines 50 West 127th Street of the Kingdom of Metaphysical Church 5. Professor Independent 24 West 128th Street Domingo 6. Henry Kissner Independent 16 East 129th Street 7. Rev. Oscar Independent 16 East 129th Street Whalen 8. Professor Professor of 206 West 129th Street Akpandac African and Oriental, Occultism, Psychic Science, White and Black Magic 9. Madam De Zonto Medium 233 West 129th Street 10. Green Faith Healer 43 West 130th Street (Independent) 11. Miss Selma Healer, First 105 West 130th Street Fisherman Emanuel Church 12. Mrs. D.W. Independent 153 West 130th Street 13. Professor Master of Mystic 238 West 130th Street S.M. Haffaney Science (Independent) 14. L.A. Okie Independent 249 West 130th Street 15. Madame Clairvoyant, Healer 39 West 131st Street Francis White (Independent) 16. Professor Master of Science 248 West 131 st Street Effiong Offiong (Independent) 17. Dr. B. Grant Independent 264 West 131 st Street 18. Mr. Cake White Magician 57 West 133rd Street 19. Rev. Thomas Pastor, Temple 113 West 133rd Street R. Hall of St. John Spiritual, Inc. 20. Brother Johnson Independent 134 West 133rd Street 21. Professor S. Independent 214 West 133rd Street Indoo 22. Professor Eyo Mohammedan Scientist 243 West 135th Street (Independent) 23. Professor Magician, Healer 243 West 135th Street Salindukee (Independent) 24. Mrs. Sytre Pastor, Love and 275 West 140th Street Shearer Truth Spiritual Assembly 25. Sister Rosie Pastor, Liberty 103 West 143rd Street PA. Braxton Spiritual Church 26. Prophet Bess Independent 2548 Eighth Avenue 27. Professor Edet Mohammedan 452 St. Nicholas Avenue Effiong Master of Stricter African Science
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||International Social Science Review|
|Article Type:||Case study|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2007|
|Previous Article:||Feuding Hungarians in the West: troubles with the struggle against communist ascendancy in Hungary, 1945-1956.|
|Next Article:||Unity without unification: the development of Nigeria's 'inside-out' approach to African political integration, 1937-1963.|