Hidden Voices and Gothic Undertones: Slavery and Folklore of the American South

Jennifer Dos Reis Dos Santos

Abstract


African American folklore embodies themes of the Tropical Gothic. It has an air of mystery as it has a deeper meaning underneath the different layers of plot. Folklore of the American South represents the darkness of the slavery period and its implications for African Americans. This article discusses two folklore collections: Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings: The Folk lore of the Old Plantation by Joel Chandler Harris, and From My People: 400 Years of Folklore by Daryl Cumber Dance. Both collections illuminate the ways in which West African oral tradition became a source of empowerment, courage and wisdom for the enslaved African Americans. Folk stories served as a means of silent resistance and preserved the cultural heritage of African Americans.


Keywords


Slavery; folklore; American South; American Gothic; Southern Gothic

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25120/etropic.18.1.2019.3672

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