in chapters 1-5
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Divination is a practice in many African religions that was carried over into African-American faiths. Divination is a "cultural universalism in Africa" and "not limited to learning the future." In fact, it is "generally concerned with obtaining information on very practical problems of everyday life." Here, Jim tries to help his friend and make a little money with this magical art. In fact, everything that the "hairball" predicts comes true. This "African culture" might have been embraced by the slaves in an attempt to make meaning of their plight and hold onto their cultural identity.