When you’re a minority within a minority religion, you might hope to feel welcomed, supported, and perhaps even celebrated. While this does happen, for the men and women of color who contributed to this anthology, all too often they also struggle with further marginalization from within the Pagan community.
The subtle disease of racism towards any race crosses all cultural barriers, and racism from Caucasian Pagans towards Pagans of different pigmentation is entirely real and not just confined to one particular Pagan path. The contributors to this anthology share their experiences with racism subtle and overt, with challenges to themselves from their own religions and cultures of origin, and the strange feeling that comes from life as a double minority.
The path of a Pagan religion is never an easy one, and members of the black community called to it face additional cultural obstacles than their predominantly white siblings of faith. Along with greater and different pressures from Christian origins, the Pagan practices of honoring ancestors and ancestry can lead to unjustified surprise at the European ancestry shared with African Americans, and in addition many people of color must deal with being the “novelty” at Pagan gatherings.
This anthology is just as much of a contribution to the documentation of Pagan culture and history as Ellen Evert Hopman’s Being Pagan. A must read, preferably early in a person’s Pagan path.
~ review by Diana Rajchel
Editor: Crystal Blanton
Megalithica Books, 2011
pp. 141, $19.99