Understanding Storytelling among African American Children: A Journey from Africa to America

By Tempii B. Champion | Go to book overview

6
Moral Centered Narratives
The recurring theme of a moral dilemma became evident when categorizing and sorting narratives through thematic analysis. The narratives were not examined to fit an a priori structure of what was missing from the narrative, as in evaluative and episodic analyses. This approach differs, then, from that presented in the previous chapters. There were 12 narratives categorized by the “moral” theme, produced by at least one third of the children. The moral centered type of narrative appeared to differ from the “evaluative” and “episodic” structures. In this structure the narrator embeds a lesson to be learned by the listener/audience. In the narrative by Loretta, a 10-year-old African American female, the narrator used a moral dilemma to transmit a message to the listener:
Loretta
1. A. Have you ever been a hero?
2. C. Yes I been a hero to my brother, my brother an' my friens.
3. C. Well, I was ridin' my bike down da street
4. And um an my friend who was goin real fast 'cause I was taggin' er
5. C. An I da thing and had a race to see who'd won
6. C. An I was an I an I was tweeny seconds cause I had I had big gear
7. C. An' I zoomin' an' she comin' slow
8. C. I woulda had forty seconds
9. C. I was countin' myself an she counts so she says tweeny seconds
10. C. An' I said your turn
11. C. I had a timer watch
12. C. An' she was racing down da street
13. C. An she run she was zoomin on da bike
14. C. She's use my bike
15. C. She didn' know how da gear
16. C. An' I said do you know how
17. C. An' she say she did 'cause she alway like to be you know it all
18. C. An' I said don' say you know if you don'

-59-

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