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Black Onyx: Black Folktales, by Gail Staggers

Guide Entry to 83.06.07:

This unit uses the folktales of the Black American as a way of generating interest and pride in the black experience. The study of folklore helps us to reach across time and space to arrive at an understanding of ourselves and of our ancestors that would not be found in history books. Instead of being dry and boring and impersonal it is more often uplifting poignant pieces of culture that make discovering our past more meaningful.

This unit has several purposes, one is to find a link or similarities between African folktales and those folktales of the black experience. If a link between the two cultures can be discovered, it will provide a means for generating pride and positive attitudes in people. The African link to the black American folktale will be an example of how a culture has survived time and distance. The second purpose of this unit is to research “living history and folktales.” The living histories will be the most difficult but inevitably the priceless “gems” of the unit.

(Recommended for 9th through 12th grade Black History, Black Literature, English, and Social Studies)

Key Words

Folktales Afro-American Literature

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