The Man Who Adores the Negro: Race and American Folklore

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Overview

Drawing on over thirty-five years of fieldwork, Patrick B. Mullen considers how African American cultural representations in folklore relate to racial dynamics in the United States. Providing insight into white folklorists’ relationships with black consultants, The Man Who Adores the Negro describes the personal experiences of both fieldworkers and ethnographic subjects. Mullen explores how folklorists such as John Lomax, Newbell Niles Puckett, Alan Lomax, and Roger Abrahams have been implicated in creating the popular concept of African Americans as folk and how this depiction has created notions of blackness and whiteness. Illuminating central aspects of African American cultural history, the author discusses a wide range of folklore that includes work songs, hymns, voodoo rituals, animal tales, jokes, toasts, and children's games and rhymes. In relating folkloric research to white mimicry of black style in such expressions as blues, rock and roll, and hip-hop culture, Mullen contends that both folk performers and folklorists participate in ongoing cultural change when they mix received values and attitudes in producing new interpretations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252074868
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Mullen is Emeritus Professor of English and Folklore at Ohio State University and author of Listening to Old Voices: Folklore, Life Stories, and the Elderly.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: Folklore Research Across Racial Boundaries     1
Race Relations in Folklore Fieldwork     21
Newbell Niles Puckett, Zora Neale Hurston, and Primitivism     40
The Racial Relationship of John Lomax and Henry Truvillion     62
Alan Lomax and the Romantic Politics of Race     79
Bongo Joe, Lightnin' Hopkins, and the Blues Revival     117
Roger Abrahams and Racial Politics in the '60s     131
Children's Rhymes from 1971 to 2001     151
Collaborative Research Across Racial Lines     177
References     193
Index     207

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