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Caddy Buffers: Legends of a Middle Class Black Family in Philadelphia

Whenever my mother was exasperated with me she would say I was "just like Caddy." I never let her know that as far as I was concerned this was a most desired compliment. For us, as Black American children, family legends centered around my great-grandmother affectionately known to us as "Caddy." Caddy legends have served as "buffers" for the children in our family for four generations. From time immemorial, slaves and members of seriously oppressed groups have used such buffers to overcome fear, anxiety and anger. Although there are many similar narratives in folk histories dealing with the ordeals of slavery, they did not belong to us, as ...

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