folk tales and fables week

7 Best African American Folktale Books on Kindle

March 18th-24th is World Folktales and Fables Week! We’re celebrating with African American folktales and fables. And no place is draped in mythical realism and storytelling more than Africa.

World Folktales & Fables Week

In the tradition of the ancestors, Blacks in American have used folktales and fables as away to explain the world around them in the form of storytelling. To celebrate our rich heritage and the stories passed down throughout time, I’ve compiled a list of The 7 Best African American Folktale Books on Kindle. 

The Annotated African American Folktales

African American folktales

Considered by many to be the most comprehensive collection of African American folktales ever published – The Annotated African American Folktales includes 150 African American myths and legends, plus 20 African tales and out of print classics such as the Southern Workman by Brer Rabbit.

Also included in the collection are Afro-Caribbean, Creole and Latin American folktales which compound on the African roots present in all parts of the diaspora. With over 200 museum-quality images, this book of fables is one to add to your personal library.

Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folktales from the Gulf States by Zora Neale Hurston

African American folktales - Zora Neale Hurston

During her travel through the Gulf Coast States in the late 1920’s, Zora Neale Hurston collected more than memories along her journey. During her travels she collected close to 500 African American folktales that paint a vivid picture of life in the rural South for Black Americans.

The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton

african american folktales virginia hamilton

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year, The People Could Fly is a beautiful depiction of hope weaved in a fantasy tale of slaves who possess ancient magic, allowing them to “fly” away to freedom.

It includes Hamilton’s original historical note, plus previously unpolished notes in this colorful, illustrated kindle edition.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

african american folktales helen oyeyemi

Only Oyeyemi could take the classic fairytale, Snow White and weave it into a story exploring themes such as racism and colorism. Boy, Snow, Bird is the first person account of three different family members over the course of two generations. Full of surprises and cringe-worthy moments, Oyeyemi takes Snow White and transforms it into a never-before heard story.

African Folk Tales by Hugh Vernon-Jackson

Recorded from retellings by tribal members in Nigeria, this collection contains 18 African fables about intriguing people and odd animals. Some authentic fables in this classic collection include:

  • “The Boy in the Drum”
  • A She-Goat and Her Children”
  • “The Greedy but Cunning Tortoise,” and
  • The Man with Seven Dogs”

African Myths and Folk Tales by Carter Godwin Woodson

african american folktales carter godwin woodson

Considered the “Father of Black History,” Carter Godwin Woodson was one of the first to promote the history and academic achievements of Blacks in America. In doing so, he compiled a series of fables and myths that answer age-old questions about creation, morality and the spiritual world.

African Myths and Folk Tales is written in simple language using the misadventures of African animals to enchant readers.

Mama Day by Gloria Naylor

african american folktales gloria naylor

Off the Georgia coast sits an island wrapped in superstition and mysticism. And on this island lives, Mama Day, who uses her powers to heal. Told from different perspectives, Mama Day combines African American folklore with a love story in this supernatural family saga.

World Folktales and Fables Week

What is your favorite African myth or Black folktale? Do you know a book that should be on this list? Drop us a comment with your favorite folktales and fables.

world folktales and fables week

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