The other Remus


As previously mentioned, Uncle Remus did not just serve Joel Chandler Harris as a vehicle for relating the African-American folk tales he collected. Remus, in fact, was actually born before those tales began to appear. Beginning in the late 1870s, Harris wrote semi-serious stories involving the old ex-slave in a contemporary setting. The stories, which appeared in the Constitution, used Remus to comment on issues of the day, including religion, race and social movement. Some apparently offer little more than attempts at humor. Even those tales, however, shed light on Harris' opinions on race relations - and cast a shadow on claims that he was a secret egalitarian using the Remus folklore stories for subversive ends, as some recent scholarship has suggested.
Of the selected tales, those which address social issues come first, followed by those (specifically the last two) which give insight into white (i.e. Harris') views of black intelligence and humanity.

SELECTED STORIES

  • Views of the African Exodus

  • Preaching That is Preaching

  • Some Advice to a Colored Brother

  • Intimidation of a Colored Voter

  • Uncle Remus in Limbo

  • Uncle Remus at the Telephone

  • Uncle Remus receives a Valentine

    note: above stories appeared in the Atlanta Constitution
    1878-1880 and were first collected in Legends of the Old Plantation, 1881


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