Searching for Roots of the Louisiana Easter Rock

Susan Roach (Louisiana Tech University, emerita)

Documented only in the Mississippi Delta floodplain of Northeast Louisiana, Easter Rock, an Easter eve vigil ritual, belongs to the category of traditional events called “rocks” associated with the old plantation churches (usually Baptist). Thanks to Hattie Addison Burkhalter, a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient, this antebellum tradition survives in Winnsboro, Louisiana. Yet the roots of this spectacular tradition created by enslaved people uprooted from their homes and religion are only partially exposed. Exploring scholarship, church and family history, and interviews with tradition bearers provides glimpses of the Rock’s history and its evolution over the last 175 years.

Part of 02-14 Religious Beliefs, Symbols, and Rituals, Thursday, November 02, 10:30 am–12:30 pm