African-American Proverbs in Context
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.
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African African-American culture African-American Proverbs ain't Albert King American Annot applied audience baby blues lyrics blues singer California child Clara Abrams Collected by Prahlad components context critical discourse discussion Don Williams DSDJ ex-slave example Folklore frogs for snakes function genres Gerry Rogers grammatical level grandmother Hanover County Infmnt informant interactions interpretation interviewer Jean Folly level of meaning live Male Matthew Boyd metaphor Mieder mother narratives Oakland occur particular performance person proverb master proverb meaning proverb speech act proverb speech events proverb texts proverbial items Rawick reap refer relationship rhetorical ritual Rohnert Park rolling stone scholars situational level situational meaning slaves social level social meaning someone song Sonoma State University speaker stanza story student suggest symbolic meaning Taft talk traditional U. C. Berkeley Archives Usage woman