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Book Cover
Author Prahlad, Anand.

Title African-American proverbs in context / Sw. Anand Prahlad
Published Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [1996]
Online access available from:
ACLS Humanities E-Book    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xiv, 292 pages)
Series Publications of the American Folklore Society. New series
Publications of the American Folklore Society. New series (Unnumbered)
Contents Toward a contextual theory -- Proverbial speech among the ex-enslaved: speech events with European-Americans. Proverbs in blues lyrics: creativity and innovation -- Contemporary speech acts. Proverb masters and symbolic meaning. Proverb speech acts among peers
Summary Such sayings as "Hard times make a monkey eat red pepper when he don't care for black," "The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice," and "Nothing ruins a duck but its bill" convey not only axiomatic impact but also profound contextual meanings. This study of African-American proverbs is the first to probe deeply into these meanings and contexts. Sw. Anand Prahlad's interest in proverbs dates back to his own childhood in rural Virginia when he listened to his great-grandmother's stories. Very early he began collecting "sayings." In researching this book, he spent five years listening for proverbs spoken in bars, clubs, churches, and retirement homes; on street corners, basketball courts, and public buses; at PTA meetings and bingo games. To discover the full context of a proverb, Prahlad considers four levels of meanings - grammatical, cultural, situational, and symbolic. All these operate simultaneously when a proverb is spoken. Part of the artistry in using proverbs comes from the complex interplay of the dimensions of their meanings. From WPA interviews with former slaves, from the lyrics of blues songs, from extensive field research, and from expressions of protest and cultural affirmation, the author reveals the myriad ways African-American proverbs thrive today
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 267-285) and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
digitized 2010 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve pda MiAaHDL
Print version record
Subject African American proverbs -- History and criticism.
African American proverbs.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0585223378 (electronic bk.)
9780585223377 (electronic bk.)