In african american literature, the trickster is oftentimes a character that is supposed to bring to light the struggle or plight of the african american, but they usually do it in such a way as to not offend their white readers.

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A “trickster” can be thought of as someone who possesses a great deal of intellect (though they may pretend otherwise) and uses this brainpower to manipulate a situation to their advantage, often in defiance of conventional norms. In African American literature, the trickster is oftentimes a character that is supposed to bring to light the struggle or plight of the African American, but they usually do it in such a way as to not offend their white readers. There was even an idea that when the African American trickster first made its appearance in literature that white people did not understand the depth and breadth of what the trickster was saying about black culture because they were too focused on the humor of the stories involving tricksters.
For this week’s discussion, examine how you see trickery in the Chesnutt readings and give a carefully considered analysis on what that trickery is meant to tell us about African American life, particularly during slavery and the reconstruction.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1887/08/the-goophered-grapevine/306656/
https://americanliterature.com/author/charles-w-chesnutt/short-story/the-passing-of-grandison

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