What is the author's purpose for writing this story? "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird" by Toni Bambara
Published in 1971, like many of Bambara's narratives, this story reflects issues that are relevant to the African-American culture. At the time of her writing, the Black Power Movement was growing stronger. Among other things, this movement promulgated the importance of self-definition and pride. Bambara joined the cause of expressing this awareness of a unique African-American culture and traditional oral expression.
Bambara's depiction of Granny and her courageous resistance to the photographers' efforts to patronize her--when they call her "aunty," she replies, "Your mama and I are not related"--as well as their efforts to exploit her family by taking pictures of them as though they are curiosities are thematic of both black pride and self-definition as well as the assertion of the power of the female. In addition, the narrator Cathy's astute understanding of the conflict in the events establishes her as not only a strong female, but also as an effective storyteller. Thus, "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird" underscores the independence and pride of the African-American, male and female, and it also places an emphasis upon the importance of storytelling as a tradition.