Title : Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs, and Stories from the Afro-American Heritage (Brown Thrasher Books Ser.)
Format : Paperback
Pages : 256 pages
Publisher : small-houses.ru
Language : English
ISBN : 0820309605

Growing up in the rural South Bessie Jones sang her way through long hours of field work and child tending entertaining her young companions with chants and riddles or joining them for a rousing evening of ring dances and singing plays These songs and games recorded in Step It Down by folklorist Bess Lomax Hawes capture the shape and color of the crowded impoverished life demanding and life loving days of the black family of sixty years ago revealing the strength and vitality of African and slave traditions in black American lifeThe power of music and motion to transform a world of scarcity and hardship into one of laughter and joy echoes throughout Bessie Jones's wordsAnd the other childrens and I would go in the bottom and have a frolic instead of going to bed I was just up for that singing and I remembered they used to say 'Come on Lizzie' and we'd go down a way and we'd have a dance Oh it was pretty You know it was just as good as the blues―better better in a way When the old folks would go to work or go off or something we'd put on them long dresses and boy we'd have a time Step It Down weaves together the lyrics music and description of traditional Afro American children's songs as well as Jones's comments on their meaning and feel Whether reciting Tom Tom Greedy Gut or demonstrating the complex steps of Ranky Tank and Buzzard's Lope Bessie Jones always viewed the amusements of the young as preparation for adult roles and relationships and as a teacher she developed her own philosophy of how a black child is socialized into the larger community Grounded in the values of black society her songs taught children about cooperative interaction and mutual concern not about competition and individual achievement showing them how to create fun out of nothing than their hands feet voices and imaginations