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These nearly 150 African American folktales animate our past and reclaim a lost cultural legacy to redefine American literature.
Drawing from the great folklorists of the past while expanding African American lore with dozens of tales rarely seen before,Â The Annotated African American Folktales revolutionizes the canon like no other volume. Following in the traditionÂ of such classics asÂ ArthurÂ Huff Fauset'sÂ "Negro Folk Tales from the South"Â (1927),Â ZoraÂ Neale Hurston'sÂ Mules and MenÂ (1935), andÂ Virginia Hamilton'sÂ The People Could FlyÂ (1985),Â acclaimed scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar assemble a groundbreaking collection of folktales, myths, and legends that revitalizes a vibrant African American past to produce the most comprehensive and ambitious collection of African American folktales ever published in American literary history. Arguing for the value of these deceptively simple stories as part of a sophisticated, complex, and heterogeneous cultural heritage, Gates and Tatar show how these remarkable stories deserve a placeÂ alongside the classic works of African American literature, and American literature more broadly.
Presenting these tales with illuminating annotations and hundreds of revelatory illustrations,Â The Annotated African American FolktalesÂ reminds us that stories not only move, entertain, and instruct but, more fundamentally, inspire and keep hope alive.
The Annotated African American FolktalesÂ includes: