Topic 5: Dialect and oral tradition
The beauty of language
A great writer’s work often reflects the arts and culture of the era. The Jazz Age of the 1920s and the Harlem Renaissance marked the artistic, political and cultural birth of the “New Negro” in literature and art. This renaissance relied upon its deep roots, including the oral traditions of storytelling and folktales. These traditions corresponded to a variety of musical styles: Negro spirituals, blues and jazz. In Hurston’s prose, the old and new converged into the dynamic, vibrant language of Janie, Pheoby and the Eatonville townspeople. Click on the link below to discuss why Hurston would use Southern black idiom to tell her story?