The Origins of the Zombie, from Haiti to the U.S. | Monstrum

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In the first episode of our three-part special series, we explore the complex history of the zombie—from its origins in the spiritual beliefs of the African diaspora to the development of Vodou in Haiti. Learn how one of the most enduring monsters in popular culture evolved in the midst of slavery, racism and prejudice.

Featuring expert interviews from Voodoo Chief Divine Prince Ty Emmecca, Associate Professor of History at LSU Dr. Kodi Roberts, and Professor and Author Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror Dr. Robin Means Coleman, you’ll get a new perspective on the long and complicated history of Voodoo in America and some insight into how the “zombi” became the “zombie.” #zombie #Vodou #Voodoo #MonstrumPBS

Written and Hosted by: Emily Zarka
Director: David Schulte
Executive Producer: Amanda Fox
Producer: Stephanie Noone
Illustrator: Samuel Allen
Editor: Derek Borsheim
Produced by Spotzen for PBS Digital Studios.

We would like to sincerely thank Divine Prince Ty Emmecca for his openness and expertise, and for allowing us into his religious space. Special thanks are also due to Kodi Roberts, Ph.D. and Robin Means Coleman, Ph.D. whose generosity of knowledge were integral to this episode, and we are in debt to them.

The world is full of monsters, myths, and legends and Monstrum isn’t afraid to take a closer look. The show, hosted by Dr. Emily Zarka takes us on a journey to discover a new monster in each new episode. Monstrum looks at humans’ unique drive to create and shape monster mythology through oral storytelling, literature, and film and digs deep into the history of those mythologies.

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