RACIAL ISSUES AND ME – BLACK MEMORABILIA – UNCLE TOM’S CABIN

I have been on stall mode for several days before writing this post.  I’ve had to do research that has been enlightening to me.  My subject is Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852.  She was a Christian social crusader who wrote the book to bring attention to the abominable practice of slavery.  The book was an amazing success and it did contribute to outbreak of the Civil War as a means of abolishing slavery.  Because of its spotlighting the slavery problem, I could not understand why the book was banned in the mid 1980’s.  I bought one that had been tossed out by a school library.

This is the Frontispiece which I think is quite cute of Eva and Topsy.

topsy 2

I have never read all of it.  Through excerpts I am familiar  with Uncle Tom, a kind and saintly slave owned by a kind master.  However, the master died and Uncle Tom was sold to the vicious Simon Legree who beats Uncle Tom to death.

“Uncle Tom” is now a derogatory term used to describe black men who follow the white man’s rules, implying servitude to the white man. That is racism.  I believe every man who achieves a noble and successful life does it by “following the white man’s rules” since those rules are based  on tenets from the Bible as set forth in our Constitution and carried out by Judeo/Christian laws.  I believe that applies to every ethnic group, but I do know it is harder for some groups than for others because of racism.

I bought a book called Young Folks Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  I had not looked at it with a “critical” eye until I started my study of what I have in my black memorabilia collection.  All of a sudden I am aghast at this book.  See what the illustrator has done to Topsy in this book for children.  A note inside cover says: To Florence for Xmas, 1912, 8 years old, by mother.

         

How is it that I have never seen the bias of this illustrator!  This caricature is highly exaggerated.

So now that I see, am I going to destroy the book?  No, I am not.  I think it is very important to keep such history around.  When the occasion arises that I need  to teach someone an example of historical racism, I have a perfect book for doing it.

By the way that is also a very good reason not to demolish statues and murals.  Ignorance to – and covering up of – history is not the answer.

Truth is the answer.  It is true that blacks were treated terribly as slaves.  It is also true that great sacrifice of life was made by white people to put a stop to that practice.

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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9 Responses to RACIAL ISSUES AND ME – BLACK MEMORABILIA – UNCLE TOM’S CABIN

  1. Well done, Oneta. Thanks for mentioning what an endearing character Uncle Tom is. In fact, it is his good heart, his sacrificial love for others, that make us care about slavery in Harriet’s story. How bizarre that “Uncle Tom” has become such a slur in modern times. He is not the bad guy in the story at all, he is the hero.

    I really like to paint Aunt Jemima bottles, which I suppose are a kind of black memorabilia, but really we are choosing to remember and to honor those women. The real Aunt Jemima’s, Nancy Green and the others, should be embraced and celebrated for what they overcame, for what they struggled with.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Just got back in from walking. It makes me feel so much better. Anyway thanks for leaving me your thoughts. I am so thankful for the stand that a lot of men and women are taking for the cause of Christ and America. They are tops in my book. You don’t often post personal things but surely you could come up with a good lesson for us with a picture or pictures of your Aunt Jemima bottles. Those outstanding characters would be horrified to know what is being done in their names. I would love someone to do some biographies of that kind of person. But in the current culture it would probably be difficult to get truth presented.

  2. Faye says:

    Thank you! Where we have journeyed and what we have become is trampled on only by the truly racist. If people like John Newton (a viscous slave trader) did not work and struggle the whole of His life to bring about massive societal change where would any of us, white or black stand TODAY.? The ignorant have decided to trash and destroy memorials to both John Newton and William Wilberforce……….How ignorant can they really be? Like Uncle TOM’S cabin attempts to right wrongs were dealt with powerfully and completely nearly two centuries ago. Yet some do not want to acknowledge their sacrifice and life determination to enforce the truth that in the Eyes of GOD all are equal. Research on these two men indeed is revelatory. Every time we sing AMAZING GRACE at funerals, memorials, military processions etc it behoves EVERYONE whether black white or all the shades in-between to think on the truth that the writer of that hymn was a SLAVER TRADER in the 1880’s. Why are the changes he and his contempories made and fought to make law so despised today.? Why because of the lack of wanting to acknowledge God and the sacrifice at the Cross Christ made to SAVE EVERYONE….
    All colours all tribes all tongues.. Of course issues will continue to surface,,,,,,,,old attitudes need to be constantly crucified. But Who or what is stirring up all this stuff? Who indeed wants to destroy all of intrinsic learning in our western societies. Who is the arch enemy of the Lordship of Christ ?????? The issue goes far deeper than racism. Its all indeed about human
    sin-filled hearts.

  3. I so agree Oneta—history is what we learn from, not what we erase.
    I was raised reading books like Dick and Jane along with Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the adventures of Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear….
    Black and white have each been a part of our heritage as Americans… each generation has had their growing pains.
    From the Lithuanian American Al Jolson singing in blackface, to little Shirley Temple tap dancing with Bojangles in the Little Colonel…these have always been a joining of two different people–
    and obviously the current nut generation has deemed their way is the only way and that all those generation before them were wrong.
    Kind of like Betsy Ross—an abolitionist who stitched a flag for a general in need of motivation.
    But the current generation sees her only as a white woman helping a white general who had a farm and had slaves working that farm…
    Absolutely beyond my thought process….

    • oneta hayes says:

      I had forgotten about Al Jolson. That makes me think of Sammy Davis, Jr. What an entertainer. What a loss to this generation who only know of the likes of rappers and foul words. I’ll make an exception for some fantastic athletes, but even the great ones are becoming wimps when it comes to standing firm on their principles. They are falling right and left. Thanks for the comment.

  4. April says:

    Awesome job, I applaud you for this vital information. Thank you kindly for the share

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thank you, April, for visiting and leaving a like. I have been to your blog but I do not find any of your writings – just videos. I do not normally listen to videos because of hearing problems and lack of time. I would love to read more about you and your thoughts.

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