African American Narrative Tradition

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People of all ages enjoy good storytellers and good narratives, especially those whose cultures are rooted in oral traditions. African Americans have their art forms deeply embedded in orality as well as literary (Banks-Wallace, 2002). However, few studies have focused on the narratives of African American adults beyond the historical and literary perspectives of oration. There remains a lack of information informing speech-language pathologists, researchers, and other professionals on the discursive nature of narration or the cognitive-linguistic influences undergirding African American narrative production. The African American narrative tradition is considered, by some, to be informal (e.g., Michaels, 1981; Wolfram, 1971) and consequently,
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