February 26th, 2009
This is an image of the Title Page of Uncle Remus, his songs and sayings: The folklore of the Old Plantation. The book was written by Chandler Harris and the illustrations were from Frederick S. Church and James Moser. This image is from the original edition published in 1881.
In this image Uncle Remus is depicted as an old but happy slave. This plays in to the archetype of the happy slave. The image also depicts Uncle Remus as a sage like old man, who possess much wisdom, which is the way he is depicted in his stories. Another interesting point about the image is he appears to be wearing a suit and tie. This may be a form of showing respect and affection for the aging black man. Or how he is a respectable character.
The title of uncle given Remus, is seen as a derogatory term given to old black by southern whites. Harris said he got the idea for Uncle Remus from hearing stories from slaves as a child, on plantations in Georgia. Uncle Remus is always seen speaking in a deeply southern black dialect.
Uncle Remus has survived very much in to the 20th and 21st century, mostly thanks to Disney. One is Songs of the South, released in 1946, but hasn’t been re-released since 1986. Also the ride Splash Mountain at Disney World has stories originating from Uncle Remus’s characters.