Skip to comments.Rescuing the Real Uncle Tom
Posted on 06/14/2011 12:05:22 PM PDT by Borges
The novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, born 200 years ago today, was an unlikely fomenter of wars. Diminutive and dreamy-eyed, she was a harried housewife with six children, who suffered from various obscure illnesses worsened by her persistent hypochondria.
And yet, driven by a passionate hatred of slavery, she found time to write Uncle Toms Cabin, which became the most influential novel in American history and a catalyst for radical change both at home and abroad.
Today, of course, the book has a decidedly different reputation, thanks to the popular image of its titular character, Uncle Tom whose name has become a byword for a spineless sellout, a black man who betrays his race.
And we tend to think of the novel itself as an old-fashioned, rather lachrymose affair that features the deaths of an obsequious enslaved black man and his blond, angelic child-friend, Little Eva.
But this view is egregiously inaccurate: the original Uncle Tom was physically strong and morally courageous, an inspiration for blacks and other oppressed people worldwide. In other words, Uncle Tom was anything but an Uncle Tom.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Leftists lie about everything.
It’s always bothered me no end that Uncle Tom has such a bad connotation to it, when he was such a very good character. Also makes me nuts that everyone says “Scrooge” like it’s a bad thing; we should all be as lucky as him and no one kept Christmas better.
"And from my standpoint as a black American, as far as I'm concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree."
ping and read later
“Uncle Tom” as a term of derision exposes one thing - ignorance.
I would bet money that not one in a hundred who use it ever read the book.
Uncle Tom is a term used by blacks to slander anyone not on the Democrat Party gravy train. If they listen to the NYTimes, they would come up with some other slander like Oreo.
Its about demeaning your opposition, nothing else.
"My body may belong to you . . . but my soul belongs to the Lord!"
You are probably right on the money
Quick, someone check to see if Rupert Murdock bought the NYT and replaced it’s editorial staff overnight. This article CONDEMNS the race baiters and hucksters that have labeled black conservatives erroneously for years as liars. But be sure those same baiters and hucksters will be swift to continue the false labeling as long as it serves the liberal progressive playbook. Don’t want anything to upset the apple cart or affirmative action quotas and set asides, which is racist on it’s face.
Let's hope that Atlas Shrugged becomes the same................
Had to resort to the dictionary for that one! The only thing there was a picture of Boehner!
Influential? Yes. Well written? No.
In the late sixties “Uncle Tom” was used to slander any black person who was not an angry militant or disagreed with those who were.
The Chicano movement started up among Hispanics about the same time. They sought a term equally insulting for the nonmilitant among them that rang like “Uncle Tom”, so they came up with “Tio Taco!”
“who suffered from various obscure illnesses worsened by her persistent hypochondria.”
I hate aside comments like this. How do they know she was pretending any of her ailments? She is not here to defend herself.
Scrooge experienced a re-birth. I think Dickens showed the reader hope out of sin and the benefits of a Christian way of life. God works in mysterious ways His miracles to perform.
Hypochondria is not faking ailments, that is another disorder. It is the persistent concern about being ill or compulsive attention to symptoms.
Kind of like the way liberals have made “swiftboating” a synonym for “lying” when it’s the exact opposite.
On a related note, I personally suspect that the same passel of liberal literary prudes who want to ban Huckleberry Finn (accordiing to the American Library Association, the most-frequently-complained-about library book in America) --- have not read that, either.
Austen’s prose is pristine and perfect. How is it not well written?
In the book we was the embodiment of Christian behavior and love, a man of decency and honor, and to have the race-baiting hucksters co-op his good mane and reputation is a great tragedy.
“Hypochondria is not faking ailments, that is another disorder. It is the persistent concern about being ill or compulsive attention to symptoms.”
Ok, but I still don’t think they should accuse her of it. It seems low.
I’ve read UTC. While it has long segments of antiquated prose, sometimes painfully so, it also has passages of great dramatic power.
Interesting factoid. UTC has been in continuous print since written.
You can read or search it online.
Uncle Tom himself is a wholly admirable character. Those who denigrate him are idiots, and are often the same people who glorify the gangbangers.
I presume it comes from the accepting scholarship on her - not something this column is introducing.
Mr. Prince of Space’s aunt did some genealogy on their family and found they were related to HBS...as well as Warren Gamaliel Harding, lol.
Mrs. Prince of Space
Her daddy was Lyman Beecher, a hellfire and brimstone Presbyterian preacher, and her mama died when she was only 5. The whole family was roiled with religious controversy -- her older sister went through agonies when her fiance was drowned at sea, believing him to be in Hell. Her brother, Henry Ward Beecher, was accused of adultery with a parishioner and the public trial was a huge scandal. It was enough to drive you to drink . . . or, in her case, to recline on the sofa and have sinking spells and go to warm climates 'for her health'. I can't say I blame her one bit.
By the way, she was a beauty when she was younger -
When three such dissimilar writers as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James and Rudyard Kipling agree that Austen was a master, you're going to have to be very persuasive.
I don’t have a good case. Seems my name might be fitting in this case. I just always found her to be too predictable - it was easy to figure out who would end up with whom.
But you can usually see it coming in real life. What Austen is writing about is not who gets whom but how they get there. From one of KIpling's characters, who made the same observation:
I mean that er characters was no use! They was only just like people you run across any day. . . . an someow Jane put it down all so naked it made you ashamed'