Criticism: Author Commentary
SOURCE: “Characteristics of Negro Expression,” in Negro: An Anthology, edited by Nancy Cunard, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1970, pp. 24-31.
[In the following excerpt, originally published in 1931, Hurston explains the view of African-American expression that informs her works, observing the drama, originality, and dialect of black communication.]
The Negro's universal mimicry is not so much a thing in itself as an evidence of something that permeates his entire self. And that thing is drama.
His very words are action words. His interpretation of the English language is in terms of pictures. One act described in...
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