Wednesday, July 10

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky + African-American Folklore

**Shout out to our 15 year old for writing the Modern Mythology posts**

When the African slaves where brought to America, starting in Jamestown's latter years, they were forbidden to be educated.  This did not prevent them from bringing their own culture and languages, and keeping their heritage alive. They kept the stories going through storytellers and oral communication. As time passed, the stories changed and grew. New stories were written, while some were unfortunately lost. These stories served as a way to connect the slaves and free blacks to their heritage, and sometimes as a way to keep records of events. Today, many of the stories are still passed down as African-American Folklore.

Read
  • The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus 
  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
    • Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm in Alabama, where he's being sent to heal from the tragedy. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie's notebook. Tristan chases after it--is that a doll?--and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature's hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
Watch
Make / Do
  • Make a Bottle Tree
  • Write your own folk story about Brer Bear, Brer Rabbit, and Brer Fox.
Identify
  • John Henry
  • Anansi
  • Brer Rabbit
  • Brer Fox
  • Brer Bear
  • Tar Baby
  • High John
  • Haint
  • Gullah
  • Uncle Remus
Think
  • How do you think some of the stories are related to current events at the time?
  • Which story is your favorite? Why?

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