The book’s conclusion makes an implicit call for a more nuanced genealogy connecting representations of black folklore in the post-Reconstruction era to what are typically considered the more “sophisticated” treatments of folklore in later African American literary and ethnographic works, suggesting a shared set of interests and concerns in writers from Paul Laurence Dunbar, to Zora Neale Hurston, to Ralph Ellison, to Colson Whitehead, and beyond. This approach beckons us to recover another layer in the sophisticated and nuanced ways folklore and African American literature have intersected, not just in the post-Reconstruction period, or even in the Harlem Renaissance period and beyond, but indeed from the very foundations of the African American literary tradition.
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