Working The Roots: Over 400 Years of Traditional African-American Folk Healing

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“African-American traditional medicine is an American classic that emerged out of the necessity of its people to survive. It began with the healing knowledge of brought with the African captives on the salve ships and later merged with Native American, European, and other healing traditions to become a full fledged body of medicinal practices that has lasted in various forms down to the present day. Working The Roots is the result of first-hand interviews, conversations, and apprenticeships conducted and experienced by author Michele E. Lee over several years living and studying in the rural South and in the West Coast regions of the United States. She combines a novelist’s keen ear for storytelling and dialogue and a healer’s understanding of the folk medicine arts into a book that makes for both pleasant, interesting reading, and serves as a permanent household healing guide. Divided between sections on interviews of healers and their stories and a comprehensive collection of traditional African American medicines, remedies, and the many common ailments they were called upon to cure, Working The Roots is a valuable addition to African American history and American and African folk healing practices.”


Paperback, 373 pages