AMERICAN NEGRO FOLKLORE by J. Mason--Ed. Brewer

AMERICAN NEGRO FOLKLORE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book is likely to be misunderstood. Brewer, a professional folklorist (Worser Days and Better Times, among others), who is attuned to the times, offers up a revisionist collection of Negro folk humor--reversing the targets. But most of the material is drawn from the slave heritage, and as it comes complete with dialect, drawl and old Uncle Remus, the book will surely irritate some. This is unfortunate for it is a highly entertaining collection, and one aimed at soothing today's hyper-thin racial skins. As scholarship also, it is somewhat lacking: insufficient indication of source material and unintentionally condescending headnotes. Nonetheless, it is a brave if somewhat misguided attempt to present the ""folk Negro--his customs, habits, beliefs, philosophy, way of life, and reactions to the incidents and pressures in his environment,"" often ""from his own lips, in his own words, or both."" The book will be oversized with elaborate illustrations (not seen here)--obviously meant as a coffee table item. But, under the circumstances, whose?

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Quadrangle