The interest in Negro folk expression is not a momentary fad; the collection and interpretation are the work of both white and Negro folklorists, united in respect for material which, no longer set in isolation, is becoming recognized as an integral part of the American experience. But with folk culture corresponding less and less to Negro experience in America, it is of course to the conscious literature that we turn for its fullest expression.
—Sterling A. Brown, “The New Negro in Literature”
The writers who, over the decades, have insisted on the centrality of folk culture to the African-American literary tradition have done so in...
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