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  •  I don't think they are inherently racist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    but they've been frequently used and retold with racist undertones, and those retellings are sadly the most well-known ones in the US.

    •  I played Uncle Remus in our 5th grade play. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      I wore black tempera paint.
      I think I was chosen because I could memorize the whole story, mainly.
      I've wondered about that, since because it was just a year or two after our school system desegregated. (peacefully)
      I'm fairly sure it was a well meaning effort on the part of our teacher. She wasn't the kind to harbor racist feelings, and she liked me.

      Times change.

      I know what you mean about the racist undertones, though.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:41:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh ouch. :/ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David54, wu ming

        I grew up loving those stories -- we had an oversized illustrated-and-simplified book of them -- and when I was in my mid-teens I used to read them out loud to kids I babysat for, complete with the exaggerated accent it was written in (which in my innocence I categorized as regional, not race-based).

        True story, please forgive the tangent:  There was one eight-year-old girl I used to babysit, who (after I had read every other story in the book to her) asked about the page headed "Who Was Uncle Remus?"  Which meant I had to give her at least a general outline about American slavery.  I had one slight advantage: since she'd gone to the same sort of Jewish day school I went to, and knew the story of Passover, I could count on being able to use the Israelites' slavery in Egypt as a jumping-off point.

        After we'd talked about this for a bit, she said "My daddy doesn't like black people."

        I was still biting my tongue against my first reaction when she added, thoughtfully: "My daddy has a lot of stupid ideas."

        Man, I loved that kid.

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