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Mumbo Jumbo Summary
Ishmael Reed

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

  • Mumbo Jumbo Summary & Study Guide
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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 ways, they're sicker than...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Mumbo Jumbo Study Pack contains about 9 pages of study material in 8 products, including:

Mumbo Jumbo Short Guide

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