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Bessie Jones was one of the foremost folk artists in the United States. Her performances, recordings, and educational programs earned noted awards, including a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She died in 1984 at age eighty-three. Bess Lomax Hawes is director of the Folk Arts Program for the National Endowment for the Arts.
It is a powerful document for anyone who seeks to understand the nature of the Black American musical experience, for anyone who wants a complete picture of American dances and games, and for anyone who teaches children. --Sonneck Society Bulletin The book is more than a manual of games for parents and teachers--it is a record of a distinctive cultural heritage, grounded in the values of the black community: cooperation, affirmation and social concern, and illustrating the experience of childhood in the black communities of the southern U.S. --Sage Race Relations Abstracts Weaving together lyrics, music, and descriptions of these songs and games, folklorist Bess Lomax Hawes captures the joy and laughter that Jones brought to her teaching, as well as her individual philosophy of childhood development and education. --Lincoln Journal A delightful collection . . . The book is an ideal collaboration. Hawes offers poignant historical and functional analysis, wonderfully complemented by Jones' illuminating recollections and charming commentary. --Atlanta History