Download Black folklore and the politics of racial representation by Shirley Moody-Turner PDF

By Shirley Moody-Turner

"Before the cutting edge paintings of Zora Neale Hurston, folklorists from the Hampton Institute accrued, studied, and wrote approximately African American folklore. Like Hurston, those folklorists labored inside of but additionally past the boundaries of white mainstream associations. they typically known as into query the that means of the very folklore tasks during which they have been engaged. Shirley Moddy-Turner analyzes this output, in addition to the  Read more...

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13 While Newell was unsparing in his critiques of folklorists who allowed their interpretations to be colored by their personal, political, or ideological biases, Newell’s arguments in favor of European origins for African American folklore were not unaffected by such biases. Newell believed that blacks were assimilating so rapidly to white American practices that African American customs and tales actually bore the mark of the European remnants that persisted in white American culture rather than in African traditions and practices.

3) depicts the medley of stereotypes that had come to dominate the minstrel shows and capture the public imagination. Jim Crow, Zip Coon, and the enduring and infamous Grinning Darkie of the old plantation South ousted the Yankee and the backwoodsman from national prominence. In the Scott print, the dandy poses in a flashy yellow coat, sporting pencil-thin legs and holding a cane. A Topsy-like character dances around a figure whose spectacles mark him as a caricature of the black intellectual. In the background, standing erect, are five “gentlemen” who could be a spoof on the Hampton Student Singers or Fisk Jubilee Singers, groups known for their dignified manner and impeccable dress.

The ideology of social, cultural, and biological evolution coursed through the entire conversation, providing “scientific” justification that this was indeed the natural order of things. Throughout the nineteenth century, minstrelsy had an indelible impact on emerging social, cultural, and intellectual institutions. Minstrelsy furnished “the jokes that were told and retold, the songs that were on everyone’s lips, and the vivid, literally living . . ”57 By yoking the stage stereotypes to claims of a folk authentic, minstrelsy created a potent black folk image that intrigued the social scientist and provided ready support for the rapidly solidifying system of Jim Crow segregation.

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