This is a very good question that online Internet workers are not asking because most of them are caught up in the false belief that Hoodoo is almost "pure black". As I mentioned before in previous blogs, Hoodoo is a tapestry composed of three threads, a black thread for the African practices, a white thread for the European practices, and a red thread for the Native-American. They are all woven together to create the practice of hoodoo/rootwork/conjure.
All the information online indicates that "The Black Man" is of African origin. There's a problem with that. The problem is that the authors on these sites who with these claims or assumptions are ignoring the European and Native American contributions or "threads". There's something many people may not know.
The Scott-Irish, the main groups of Europeans who helped shape hoodoo and even coined the term "hoodoo", have a long folkloric tradition of "The Black Man". Among Scott-Irish, the Black Man is none other than The big "D" (Devil). It is he who gives witches their powers, after they make pacts with him. He also grants people the power to become werewolves. The Black Man for the Scott-Irish can be chanced upon in the forest or at the crossroads, and often he appears on horseback. The Black Man can also appear in the form of animals, usually black dogs, cats, birds, or sows. One more thing, the name "The Black Man", refers to the color of his clothing and not of the color of his skin. This is true for both the Scott-Irish "Black Man" and the "Black Man at the Crossroads".
So is "The Black Man at the Crossroads" African or European? Or is he a mixture of both? Honestly, I don't know and can't answer that for you. Just from comparing the hoodoo version of the Black Man to the Scott-Irish concept it's obvious to me that there is a blending of the concepts.
All I can say is that there is enough evidence to conclude that "The Black Man at the Crossroads" is not purely African-derived. It appears to be a mix of the Scott-Irish and the African crossroads spirit. However, I do caution my readers because more research needs to be done on this. The research needs to be done by people who can see the tapestry that is Hoodoo and not just by those who are only focusing on one of the "threads", while ignoring the others.