Part I, Introduction & Chapter One: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Zora find special about Florida?

2. Why does Zora feel that “folklore is not as easy to collect as it sounds”?

3. With whom does Zora intend to stay while at Eatonville?

4. How does George Thomas react to the news that Zora wishes to collect “lies”?

5. Why does Zora want to report these stories, according to what she tells her friends in Eatonville?

6. Why does John mistake a bullfrog for the devil?

7. What does the word “bookooing” mean, and from where does it come?

8. How does Wood Bridge lack “...Eatonville’s feeling of unity”?

9. From what is “coon-dick,” the local homemade liquor, made?

10. Why does Big Willie Sewell call chicken “gospel-bird”?

Answers
1. According to Zora, “my big reason [is] that Florida is a place that draws people—white people from all over the world, and Negroes from every Southern state surely and some from the North and West.” Because of this Zora “knew it was possible...to get a cross section of the Negro South in one state.”

2. Since she is collecting these stories from firsthand accounts, she has to overcome any suspicions that people might have. She herself remarks that “the best source is where there are the least outside influences and these people, being usually underpriviliged, are the shyest.”

3. Zora intended to stay with her childhood friend, Armetta Jones, who lived in Eatonville with her husband Ellis.

4. George says, “Zora, don’t you come here and tell the biggest lie first thing.”

5. She wants to write it down “before everybody forgets all of ‘em.”

6. John mistakes a bullfrog for the devil because it has huge eyes, moves without walking, and has almost no tail.

7. The word means “loud talking,” and is derived from the French word beaucoup, meaning “many.”

8. Not only does Wood Bridge lack a schoolhouse, post office, and mayor, “in fact, a white woman lives there.”

9. The principal ingredients of “coon-dick” are grapefruit juice, cornmeal mash, and beef bones.

10. According to Zora, preachers are especially fond of chicken.