Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me, Second Edition

African American Narrative Poetry from Oral Tradition

Bruce Jackson
eISBN-13: 9781438496573

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Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me celebrates the African American oral tradition of toasting, one of the key roots of contemporary rap. Jackson was among the few to appreciate the profane energy and beauty of this rhymed form, collecting such classic toasts as "Stackolee," "The Titanic," "Signifying Monkey," "Dance of the Freaks," and dozens more. This unexpurgated edition offers the raw, vibrant, and still startling imagery of these toasts shaped by decades of oral transmission through the voices of countless rhymers. Just like rap, the toasting tradition enabled previously unheard or stifled topics, including racism, sexual exploitation, economic deprivation, and social oppression, to be expressed in a form that embodied multiple layers of meaning. Jackson helped preserve a rapidly dying art form to ensure that it would be available for many generations to come. In the words of Robin D.G. Kelley, "All you Hip Hop heads need to know this book if you want to know your roots."

ISBNs 9781438496566, 1438496575, 9781438496573
Language English