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)
The Mumbo Jumbo Study Pack contains about 9 pages of study material in 8 products, including:
Mumbo Jumbo Short Guide
Ishmael Reed Biographies (6)
1,610 words, approx. 6 pages
A novelist, journalist, and playwright, American writer Ishmael Reed (born 1938) has been cited by critics as among the greatest contemporary African American literary figures of his generation.Accord...
2,266 words, approx. 8 pages
Ishmael Reed 's most important work has been his five novels, though he is also the author of two books of poetry, one nominated for a National Book Award. His experimental fiction has the stamp of po...
2,311 words, approx. 8 pages
Ishmael Reed was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the son of Bennie and Thelma Coleman Reed. At age four he moved with his mother to Buffalo, New York, where later he attended the University of Buffalo...
9,411 words, approx. 32 pages
"The most revolutionary black novelist who has appeared in print thus far," wrote Nick Aaron Ford as early as 1971, "is Ishmael Reed ." Nick Aaron Ford, one of the elder statesmen of Afro-American li...
4,863 words, approx. 17 pages
Ishmael Reed's importance to contemporary literary studies stems in part from his ability to channel his encyclopedic historical, political, and cultural knowledge into syncretic poetry and prose that...
8,389 words, approx. 28 pages
Ishmael Reed is one of America's leading proponents of multiculturalism. His commitment to the transformation of America into a truly multicultural society has informed his writing and has also been e...
Essays & Analysis (1)
686 words, approx. 3 pages
Jes Grew, the ragtime/jazz movement that is sweeping the nation in Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo, is not only a musical revolution, but also a spiritual reawakening for African Americans. The movement, l...