African American Oral Traditions in Louisiana By Mona Lisa Saloy Since Africans were transported as slaves to America, Black Americans have nurtured and created a dynamic culture within a climate of intense racial, social, and economic exploitation and injustice. They developed kinship networks, religious beliefs, and families infused with their values and race knowledge. This rich expressive culture articulates their deepest feelings, aspirations, and wishes.
African-American Vernacular English African-American Vernacular AAVE is the native variety of the vast majority of working- and middle-class African Americansparticularly in urban areas,  with its own unique accent, grammar, and vocabulary features.
Typical features of the grammar include a "zero" copula e. Common features of the phonology include non-rhoticity dropping the r sound at the end of syllablesthe metathetic use of aks instead of ask, simplification of diphthongs e.
AAVE is used by middle-class African Americans in casual, intimate, and informal settings as one end of a sociocultural language continuum, and AAVE shows some slight variations by region or city.
This variety exhibits standard English vocabulary and grammar but often retains certain elements of the unique AAVE accent,   with intonational or rhythmic features maintained more than phonological ones.
Of the phonological features maintained in this standard dialect, they tend to be less marked features that, for instance, even appear in some white standard dialects of English.
These similarities include an accent that is rhotic, the categorical use of the grammatical construction "he works" or "she goes" rather than the AAVE "he work" and "she go"and Appalachian vocabulary such as airish for "windy". However, even African-American English in Appalachia is diverse, with African-American women linguistically divided along sociocultural lines: Of primary interest is the direct theoretical predecessor to AAVE.
Mainly four types of sources have been used for the historical reconstruction of older AAVE: Gullah is an English creole: Most Gullah speakers today probably form a continuum with the English language.
In literature[ edit ] There is a long tradition of representing the speech of blacks in American literature. A number of researchers  have looked into the ways that American authors have depicted the speech of black characters, investigating how black identity is established and how it connects to other characters.In fact, Dunbar saw his dialect work as belonging, at least in part, to a Midwestern American literary tradition.
Moreover, a conspicuously Midwestern tradition of African American art and literature was beginning to develop in the last years of the nineteenth century.
Toaster Arthur Pfister and storyteller Ahmos "Dr. Zulu" Zu–Bolton deliver important essences of the Black oral tradition.
They both share professional lives. They are both committed tradition bearers. They belong to that special griot–type African American Louisiana lore. Their audiences love them. The African American oral tradition has roots in Africa and a legacy in the blues.
This exercise explores the continuum of the oral tradition, asking students ultimately to consider how blues music is a legacy of African tradition. Start the exercise by introducing students to the concept of the griot. History and Africa/Africa and History Historical consciousness in Africa is—of course—quite literally as old as time, but in Europe and the Americas awareness of Africa’s past has dawned only more recently.
1 In the United States, African Americans during the nineteenth century first attended to Africans’ pasts in the face of the. Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now! The Library of Congress > Blogs > Folklife Today > Tracking Tricksters in Washington, DC I was on the hunt for the earliest recordings of the African American Brer Rabbit trickster folktales for my next book, American Trickster: Trauma, Tradition and Brer Rabbit, to be published by Rowman and Littlefield.
The cunning and duplicitous Brer.