The literature of the Negro in America is colossal, from political oratory through abolitionism to "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "Cotton is King"--a vast mass of books which many men have read to the waste of good years (and I among them); but the only books that I have read a second time or ever care again to read in the whole list (most of them by tiresome and unbalanced "reformers") are "Uncle Remus
" and "Up from Slavery"; for these are the great literature of the subject.
In the stories' frame, an old slave, Uncle Remus
, tells stories to a little white boy, the master's child.
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A lonely boy living on a southern plantation is entertained by elderly servant Uncle Remus
's enchanting tales of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear.
If alarm bells don't go off to you learn it's adapted from an Oprah recommended novel, the preponderance of oddballs with quaint names (did I forget to mention kindly black photographer Moses Whitecotten) that make Uncle Remus
sound like Tolstoy and a rambling plot that takes in alcoholism, tornado, child abuse, inheritance and, I kid you not, Christian kidnappers and retribution in the form of leg amputation by train, should seriously cause you to thing twice about viewing.
The parameters for Folk tales in the United States are given in the first edition as follows: "Folklore in the United States falls into four large categories: tales from the American Negro, especially the collections known as the Uncle Remus
stories; tales from the North American Indians; variants of the European stories; and native tall tales of the Paul Bunyan variety" (Arbuthnot, 1947, p.
In the United States the adventures of the trickster hare Brer Rabbit were first given literary form in the late 19th century by Joel Chandler Harris in a series of tales told by a wise old black character called Uncle Remus
Like a character out of Faulkner, Shadrach strikes Paul Whitehurst as a combination of Stepin Fetchit and Uncle Remus
. Shad has returned to Virginia after an impossible journey undertaken in his half-blind, penniless condition.
The most memorable thing about the film was that James Baskett received a special award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his "Uncle Remus
Among other books of this year were Uncle Remus
: His Songs and His Sayings by Joel Chandler Harris, full of authentic black folklore in dialect; Dr.
Born in Illinois, Marquis worked in Atlanta on <IR> JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS </IR> 'S Uncle Remus
's Magazine, then became a columnist in New York for the Sun and the Tribune.
"Presidents may come andpresidents may go," Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed at a 1905 Atlanta banquet attended by Joel Chandler Harris, "but Uncle Remus
stays put." Roosevelt's tribute was eloquent testimony to the popularity at the turn of the century of the imaginary slave who, Harris tells us, had "nothing but pleasant memories of the discipline of slavery," who retained his loyal attachment to the old plantation long after the Civil War and who night after night entertained a little whie boy with tales from the old days.