American Negro Folktales Author:Richard M. Dorson The colored man was arrested in a town in Mississippi for crossing a red light. He explained, "I saw all the white folks going on the green light, I thought the red light was for us colored folks." The judge let him off. — This is a superb collection from the folktale repertoire of Negro Americans. It includes not only the well known stories of... more » talking animals, but also the cycle concerning Old Marster and his clever slave John, and ranges from supernatural accounts of specters and bogies, through comical and satirical anecdotes, to the more realistic reports of racial injustice.
The narrators' bold and lively language and rich imagery bring to the surface the unique imagination, spirit, and courage of the Negro tradition. Following modern methods of folklore research, Richard M. Dorson has recorded the actual words of the narrators, bringing into relief individual styles and personalities. These narratives reveal a consistent ability to temper reality with bittersweet humor, to reply to what threatens with subtle wit and irony.« less