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African-American folktales

  (Redirected from African-American folklore)

African-American folktales are the storytelling and oral history of African-American culture. Many are unique, while others are derived from a combination of African, European, and Native American sources.[1]



Looking back to when white scholars first started studying folktales, they focused on British and Anglo-American folktales due to them thinking African Americans had a poverty-stricken literary tradition. Little did they know that African-American folktales are varied and rich coming from their oral traditions.[2]

One form of humorous tales popular in the African-American tradition is jokes. There are multiple black comedians today who pass on jokes and humorous tales such as Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bill Cosby. They take everyday life and exaggerate life experiences.[2]

In general, most African-American Folktales fall into one of seven categories: tales of origin, tales of trickery and trouble, tales of triumph over natural or supernatural evils, comical heart warming tales, tales teaching life lessons, tales of ghosts and spirits, and tales of slaves and their slave-owners.[2]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Thomas A. Green (2009). African American Folktales. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-36295-8. 
  2. ^ a b c "Folktales | African-American Writers: A Dictionary - Credo Reference". Retrieved 2018-01-15.