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ERIC Number: ED027305
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Black and Unknown Bards: American Slavery and Its Literary Tradition.
Haslam, Gerald W.
ETC: A Review of General Semantics, v25 n4 p411-19 Dec 1968
The oral literature of Negro slaves might be considered America's first important literary development. The literature shows the influence of European traditions, of slavery, and of African culture. Slave music, for instance, combines African rhythmic patterns with adapted European hymn forms. Through the use of symbolism to mask the meanings of the songs from the white masters, the slaves expressed their desire for freedom, the hopelessness of their lives, their paradoxical relationships with their masters, and their courage, resignation, and indomitable will. Slave tales and stories also contain rich and subtle protests against slavery. Significantly, the theme of these tales is the small hero outsmarting the larger, more powerful enemy. Reflecting a tradition common to both Europe and Africa, these tales often involve the metaphorical use of animals. (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
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