Mumbo Jumbo Summary
Ishmael Reed

Everything you need to understand or teach Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed.

  • Mumbo Jumbo Summary & Study Guide
  • 1 Student Essay
  • ...and more
  • 30 Mumbo Jumbo Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

Mumbo Jumbo Summary

At its heart, Mumbo Jumbo is a struggle between the Judeo-Christian Ethic and what Reed calls the NeoHooDoo Aesthetic. The catalyst for the struggle is a mysterious "anti-plague" called "Jes Grew," a "disease" that forces its "victims" to dance and let their inhibitions go. Since the NeoHooDoo Faction feels "laughter washes the heart," they are excited and supportive of Jes Grew, whereas the secret society attempting to subdue the plague, the Knights Templar, is aligned with the Wallflower Order. They are intent on stopping Jes Grew before it gets to New York City.

Reed, as he has in other books, sprays his satirical buckshot far and wide, and there are many victims.

Black nationalists again are perceived as being hypocritical and contradictory. In a 1974 interview Reed said, Some of the people who call themselves nationalists and revolutionaries are your worst enemies because, in many...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Mumbo Jumbo Study Pack contains:

Mumbo Jumbo Short Guide

Lesson Plan

Mumbo Jumbo Lesson Plans contain 118 pages of teaching material, including: