African Folklore and It's Importance in America

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African Folklore and its Importance in America Almost every oral tradition in the world has trickster figures, and African American culture is no exception. Tricksters dominate the folk tradition that peoples of African descent developed in the United States, especially those tales Trickster figures, present in every oral tradition, are weak, often amoral, characters who outsmart stronger opponents. Many were influenced by African folk tradition, landscape, and wildlife. Though trickster tales in African American culture are frequently a source of humor, they also contain serious commentary on the inequities of existence in a country where the promises of democracy were denied to a large portion of the citizenry, a pattern that becomes even clearer in the literary adaptations of trickster figures. As the African- American people who were enslaved gained literacy and began to write about their experiences, they incorporated figures from oral tradition into their written creations. These stories spread and became folklore in America; however, these also existed in Africa as well. These tales were also important in Africa as well because when most were not able to perfectly remember their culture, these stories helped represent African cultures and traditions. , "The Jackal and the Leopard," featured in Black folktales by Julius Lester underscores the importance of honesty, fairness, wisdom, and courage as qualities that are essential for creating stable communities and governments everywhere in the world. The animals featured in this story were once found throughout most of Africa. Storytelling affirms pride and identity in a culture. In Africa, stories are created by and for the ethnic group telling them. Different ethnic groups in Africa have different rituals or ceremonies for storytelling, which creates a sense of belonging to a cultural group. The tales from

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