The real history behind Mary Ellen Pleasant, San Francisco’s Voodoo Queen

In the mid 1800’s, boom-town San Francisco was a city of men, only about 15 percent women. Slavery was illegal in the West but still– white men were the ones cashing out on the boom. Mostly.  Then there was Mary Ellen Pleasant. She was one of the richest and most powerful people in the state– and she was a black woman. In fact she was a freedom fighter– they called her the Black City Hall.  But today, Pleasant is barely remembered. The story that does get told is a mythologized tale about San Francisco’s so-called Voodoo Queen.


Ixel Balamke

Ixel Balamke was one of the two founding members of Sekhet-Bast-Ra in Oklahoma City. Currently living in the Twin Cities, she is currently the LBM of Leaping Laughter Lodge. She also is a Meanad and lover of fine wines. Her life long partner Hunahpu and she are well known for their Wine Tastings at NOTOCON. Together they have a small wine cellar that currently holds over 300 bottles.

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