5 African and African American Children’s Folktales You Need to Know

Photo credit: Anyefru via Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Anyefru via Wikimedia Commons

African and African American stories have been passed down from generation to generation in order to impart distinct values, traditions, and morals.

ALSO READ:  What To Know About The Igbo Pyramids Of Nigeria

Folktales were taught to children in order to remind them of their culture, beliefs, history, practices, and customs; they were an important component of a child’s socialization.

Though some parents and grandparents may not follow up with storytelling traditions as they once did, these stories have not been forgotten.

Children learn linguistic skills and gain information about the world when they read or are read to from a young age, according to research.

Giving children the opportunity to read books about different cultures and traditions helps them comprehend their own culture as well as the cultures of others. This enriches their relationships with others because they learn to accept the variety in ideas and practices among individuals.

Furthermore, teaching these African and African American folktales to young readers would not only provide them with the aforementioned benefits, but will also provide them with good values and inspiration.

These works, on the other hand, transcend age and may be appreciated by readers of all ages.

Here are five African and African-American children’s folktales you should know, revisiting some of your favorite childhood favorites.

Finding the Green Stone – Alice Walker

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Ages: 7 – 9

Finding the Green Stone is a morality tale about a little kid named Johnny who lives in a town where everyone possesses a luminous green stone. He becomes irritated when he loses his stone as a result of his bad behavior. The community joins together to aid him, but in order to find the glowing stone again, Johnny must first find love in his heart.

The young boy in the story discovers his inherent strength and knowledge. He also comprehends why he should let go of bad emotions.

The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales – Virginia Hamilton

Photo Credit: African Bookstore

Ages: 10 +

The book is a collection of 24 stories about American black culture traditions. It’s a fiction story about Africans who formerly had the power to fly but lost it when they were sold as slaves in the United States. In the end, one slave reclaims the magical power and leads them to freedom.

In this book, children are introduced to the lives of black slaves who, after much hope and determination, achieve their freedom.

Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit – Julius Lester

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Ages: 8 -12

In these stories, Brer Rabbit, the trickster, is usually always up to no good, albeit by the conclusion of the book, he has learnt a great lesson. The book is full of wit, humour, and innovation. The book’s characters are realistic and easy to follow, and they attract the attention of young readers.

This book teaches youngsters vital life principles such as morals, how to interact with people, the value of patience, and so on.

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales – Nelson Mandela

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Ages: 8 -11

This is a collection of stories written by Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s famous freedom fighter and former president. There are 22 stories in all, with origins in South Africa and other Sub-Saharan African countries.

The anecdotes are a collection of original African stories that try to immerse readers in the raw spirit of Africa through depictions of mankind, wildlife, and the magical.

Anansi and the Golden Pot – Taiye Selasi

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Ages: 3 – 7

Anansi is a well-known character in African folklore. He is extremely intelligent and can be quite the joker. Anansi the spider encounters Anansi the boy in this story. They uncover a magical pot that can be filled with whatever they wish.

The narrative conveys a strong message about the importance of sharing and the pitfalls of greed. Young readers will also discover the value of kindness.

This Couple Raised Over $5 Million After Declining $400K On Shark Tank

4 African Countries Currently Granting Ancestry-based Citizenship