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Feb. 19: Black Humor Is Topic of Middlesex Museum BHM Program

“African-American Humor: Striving and Surviving” will be the title of a talk by Dr. Daryl Cumber Dance on Sunday, February 19, 2017, at 3 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse, 877 General Puller Highway, Saluda, Virginia. This program is presented by the Middlesex County Museum in celebration of Black History Month.

Dr. Dance will discuss the many functions historically served by humor in the African-American community, including to teach, attack, empower, overcome, educate, and survive.

Dr. Dance has researched and written extensively about African-American humor and folklore. Among the many books that she has written are Honey, Hush! An Anthology of African-American Women’s Humor (1998), Shuckin’ and Jivin’: Folklore from Contemporary Black Americans (1978), From My People: 400 Years of African-American Folklore (2002), and Long Gone: The Mecklenburg Six and the Theme of Escape in Black Folklore (1987). Hear the humor come alive as Dr. Dance shares readings from Shuckin’ and Jivin’, Honey, Hush! and From My People.

A prolific writer, Dr Dance is also a scholar of the literature and folklore of the Caribbean. She wrote Folklore from Contemporary Jamaicans (1985), Fifty Caribbean Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical and Critical Sourcebook, (1986); and New World Adams: Conversations with Contemporary West Indian Writers (1992).

Dr. Dance’s publications include a genealogy of her own family, The Lineage of Abraham: The Biography of a Free Black Family in Charles City, Virginia (1999). Her most recent book is about the mother of contemporary novelist Jamaica Kincaid and is entitled, In Search of Annie Drew: Kincaid’s Mother and Muse, University of Virginia Press, 2016.

Daryl Cumber Dance is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. She also taught at Virginia State College and the University of California at Santa Barbara. During the spring semester of 2013 she held the Sterling A. Brown Chair of English at Howard University.

The public is cordially invited to enjoy Dr. Dance’s presentation. Admission is free. A question and answer period and a reception will follow. Dr. Dance will bring copies of her books for sale and will autograph them.

For further information, email or call (804) 758-3663.

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