By Bruce Jackson, MICHELE WALLACE
Initially released in 1975 and considered as one of many nice collections of African-American literature and folklore, Get Your Ass within the Water and Swim Like Me brings jointly the very best examples of the black people poetry referred to as 'toasts'. most likely the single surviving type of oral narrative poetry within the US, the 'toasts' gathered right here inform the myths of African-American tradition, from the 'bad guy' Stackolee to the black boxer refused a price ticket for the enormous, taking within the African roots culture and modern rap song.
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Extra resources for Get Your Ass in the Water & Swim Like Me: African-American Narrative Poetry from the Oral Tradition
Signifying Monkey, perhaps, manages the same end with his words. Lion is still the more powerful and always will be; in many versions his very noise renders Monkey impotent sexually. Yet Monkey arranges to have Lion mangled and usually manages to avoid Lion’s angry revenge for that manipulation. He knows he can never accomplish those ends physically, just as the child who grows up may never overcome his father physically: the youth’s physical advantage destroys his victory, for the elderly father is protected by a code, the younger father by his power.
Badmen, Crime, and Jail 1. STACKOLEE A. Henry, Ramsey, 17 November 1965 B. Joe, Ellis, 24 March 1966 C. Frank, Ramsey, 17 November 1965 D. Bobby, Jefferson City, 22 June 1964 E. Gene, Wynne, 19 March 1966 F. Manuscript fragment sent by Phyllis Wallace, of the Delinquency Study Project, Southern Illinois University, as heard from a Chicago informant in 1967 G. Bob, Connelley Migrant Camp, Barker, New York, 17 August 1970 The character Stagolee or Stackolee figures in ballad and prose narrative tradition as well as toast tradition.
It can hardly be accidental that the protagonist is named Shine, a white man’s term that is unambiguously derogatory. “Shine” never had the casual currency among blacks that “nigger” did. One still hears in parts of the South phrases like “all us niggers…” and, in the North and South, “he’s a bad nigger,” an expression approving someone’s toughness. A character named Shine appeared in some early nineteenth-century minstrel routines, but he never became a character in black prose narratives. ” Remember that “Black is beautiful” is a recent perception.