This study of race and religion examines the largest population converting to Haitian Vodou in the United States today: blan—foreigners. This article investigates the experiences of white western foreigners, who remain vastly understudied as devotees of “immigrant religions.” As with many conversion narratives, white Americans report becoming initiates into Vodou to deepen divine connections, restore health, develop spiritual sensibility, and establish community. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork conducted in New England with white American devotees of United States Vodou temples, I explore westerners’ feelings of belonging in the lakou, or ritual kinship system. I explore the tension between white practitioners’ power and privilege and their desire to forge meaningful new spiritual communities, as the development of religious race consciousness for white initiates is not always a linear process. Ultimately, this work illuminates how foreign devotees must cultivate both religious maturity and racial consciousness as they work to acquire “religious citizenship” in Haitian Vodou, a Pan-Africanist tradition that requires all devotees to be dedicated advocates of Black liberation.

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