Negro wit and humor: also containing folk lore, folk songs, race peculiarities, race history
Marion Franklin Harmon (1861-1940), a white man born in Mississippi, was living in Louisville, KY, when he published Negro Wit and Humor in 1914 through his Louisville, press, Harmon Publishing Company. The book was one of the joke books published by whites and distributed throughout the South for the purpose of entertaining other whites.
Harmon claimed the book was meant to show the progress of the race, the content based on his observations and the words of friends "who vouch for their accuracy and originality." The book is full of supposed Negro dialect. Harmon gives thanks to Professors A. J. Aven of Mississippi College, Joseph [S.] Cotter, [Sr.] of Louisville Coleridge Taylor Colored School, and Thomas [F.] Blue, [Sr.], head of the Louisville Colored Branch Library.
Harmon also published the Messenger, a Christian weekly. He would later become the pastor of First Christian Church in Jackson, MS. In 1929, Harmon produced The History of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) in Mississippi, also published in Mississippi.
For more see R. D. Abrahams, "Folk beliefs in Southern joke books," Western Folklore, vol. 24, issue 4 (Oct. 1964), pp. 259-261; J. Morgan, "Mammy the huckster: selling the Old South for the New Century," American Art, vol. 9, issue 1 (Spring 1995), pp. 86-109; S. A. Brown, "The Negro character as seen by White authors," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 2, issue 2 (April 1933), pp. 179-203; and Negro Wit and Humor, by M. F. Harmon.