From My People: 400 Years of African American Folklore: An Anthology (Norton Paperback)

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9780393324976: From My People: 400 Years of African American Folklore: An Anthology (Norton Paperback)
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"What an astonishingly rich collection of African American folklore Dance has produced! A major contribution to African American scholarship."―Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

A magnificent celebration of―and an essential introduction to―African American life and culture. Folklore displays the heart and soul of a people. African American folklore not only hands down traditions and wisdom through the generations but also tells the history of a people banned from writing and reading during slavery. In this anthology, Daryl Cumber Dance collects a wealth of tales that have survived and been adapted over the years, many featuring characters (like Brer' Rabbit) from African culture. She leaves no genre of folklore out, including everything from proverbs and recipes to folk songs and rumor. There is a section on the unique style that African Americans have consciously fashioned, including works by and about Paul Laurence Dunbar, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jelly Roll Morton. Within the chapter on folk art, which includes a sixteen-page color insert, quilts, dolls, sculpture, and painting get their due. From the famous to the anonymous, From My People is Dance's gift back to her culture. A Booklist Top Ten African American Nonfiction Book of the Year. Nominated for the Library of Virginia Literary Award. 82 illustrations

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About the Author:

Daryl Cumber Dance is a professor at the University of Richmond and the author of numerous works including Shuckin' and Jivin' and Long Gone.

From Library Journal:

Comprehensive if not exhaustive, this anthology provides a synthetic overview of African American folk expression, offering an entree into a vast subject. Informative texts introduce each of the 13 major genres covered in this book, which include tales, songs, beliefs, folk arts, proverbs, costume, and sermons. Drawing on both oral and printed sources in addition to original works, Dance (ed., Honey Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women's Humor) reprints familiar materials from such notables as Paul Dunbar, Zora Neale Hurston, Jelly Roll Morton, Ben Botkin, and Langston Hughes and also from songs, proverbs, and recipes. The selections vividly affirm the strength of African American lore as part of American language and culture. Dance has conducted an ambitious search for the identity and essence of African American expression, and she succeeds admirably, capturing what was largely invisible to many generations. Rendered in dialect where possible, these selections reflect an inventive people who speak and sing without embellishment. Recommended for all collections. Richard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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