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Why zombies are still alive in popular media

Despite their repetitive growls and flesh-eating, we want more of them


All of Us Are Dead had us hooked with its new-ish spin on zombies- the quarantine, masking, testing, and mutations were all too familiar for the viewers. Zombies in media folklore, much like their undead selves, have continued to endure, but have you ever wondered what its legacy is? And where did it all start?


The zombie owes its origins to the enslaved in Haiti in the 1700s. In the early 18th century when the French colonised West Africa, they sent the enslaved to Haiti to work on the plantations. The Haitian believed that death would release them back to Lan Guinee, an afterlife where they could be free. However, if someone died by suicide, they would remain trapped in their soulless bodies. According to Professor Amy Wilentz of the University of California “Suicide was the their only way to take control over his or her body…And yet the fear of becoming a zombie might stop them from doing so. This final rest in green, leafy, heavenly Africa with no sugarcane to cut and no master to appease or serve — is unavailable to the zombie. To become a zombie was a their worst nightmare: To be dead and still a slave, an eternal field hand.”