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African American Folktales

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  6 reviews
From the canefileds of the ante-bellum South, the villages of the Caribbean islands, and the streets of contemporary inner cities, here are more than one hundred tales from an "incredibly rich and affirmative storytelling tradition" (Choice).

Full of life, wisdom, and humor, these tales range from the earthy comedy of tricksters to stories explaining how the world was
Paperback, Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library, 352 pages
Published January 9th 1999 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 1985)
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Mary Catelli
A collection of folktales, from the West Indies as well as the United States.

A lot of beast tales, including some recognizable variants on fairy tale types-- some fairy tales, not too many. Heavy on trickster tales. Some distinctly bawdy.
I actually enjoyed the stories, not enough to go wow, but I did end up chuckling every now and then. I especially loved the authors short note at the beginning of each section. I also love their portrayal of both the God and the Trickster, and the idea of how God becomes the God of only the white men. It sort of throws light upon the prevalant racism. I feel like the tales themselves highlight the marginalisation and the poor treatment of the blacks in the post war America. And then that one ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful and diverse collection of folktales drawn from throughout the African diaspora. Despite being the work of a professional ethnologist-folklorist (i.e., the Aarne-Thompson category numbers are included in the annotation), the stories are presented clearly and unadorned with unnecessary scholarly adumbration. The tales shine on their own, accompanied only by their points of origin (Mississippi, Jamaica, etc) and also by exquisite yet simple illustrations. This is ...more
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this while browsing at a secondhand bookstore. As I seem to be on folklore kick lately (having read the Pink and Blue Fairy Books by Andrew Lang), l couldn't pass it up.

A wonderful collection of ethnographic interest. Certainly the tales are often funny or amusing, but that is to do them injustice. As noted in the compelling introduction by the compiler, the tales are the product of the African-American slave experience, superimposed onto the ancient sub-Saharan oral and cultural
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very interesting!
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection of stories. Great for children. It was nice to read one a day.
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