Through African-Centered Prisms: A Special Issue of the New York Folklore Journal
Guest Editor: Barbara Hampton
New York Folklore, Vol. 18, Nos. 1–4, 2000
This volume is currently out of print. Copies of any articles contained within this volume are available for purchase. See the Table of Contents for order form. You will be emailed a PDF upon receipt of order.
This special issue of New York Folklore is concerned with re-visioning the ways that scholars have thought and written about African American culture and traditions in the United States. Using the imagery of the “prism,” African American culture and vernacular traditions can be viewed as coming from a single source, yet “refracted” to create many streams of varying colors. African cultures and traditions have been transformed over time in a New World context, yet have a common origin.
This special issue of New York Folklore is concerned with examining specific African American creative traditions and in exploring the intellectual issues involved in the study of African American culture. It seeks to view African American culture from fresh new perspectives.
From this journal:
“In this atmosphere of intellectual and political dispute concerning the
identity and role of African-Americans in the society, American folklore
study had its beginnings. In both subtle and overt ways, it became
intricately involved in both the evolutionary and the political debates
of the time. Although it would be something of an oversimplification to
suggest that early African-American folklore study was dominated by
political concerns or that it can be apprehended solely in terms of the
political affinities of its students, there is little doubt that politics and
the political leanings of individuals influenced the study of this tradition
of vernacular expression.”—John W. Roberts, “African-American Folklore in a Discourse of Folkness,” p.82.