Millery Polyné, a Haitian-American professor at the Gallatin School-NYU, teaches African-American and Caribbean history. Elizabeth McAlister is a religion and African-American studies professor at Wesleyan University, whose expertise is on Haitian Vodou. The views expressed are their own.
(CNN)I vividly remember walking out of a Boston movie theater at the age of 14 feeling that my Haitianness, my blackness, and my faith had been assaulted.
A faith born from slavery
Vodou is the proper spelling of Haiti's traditional religious and healing system.
For years, practitioners and scholars of Haitian Vodou have challenged misrepresentations of the religion, which usually misspell the tradition as "voodoo" and associate it with frenzied chaos, evil, and witchcraft.
In 2012, the US Library of Congress changed its primary subject heading for the religion to Vodou.