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Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings: The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation
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Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings: The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  244 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
In 1880, Joel Chandler Harris, a moderate white Southern journalist, published a collection of black folktales, proverbs, songs, and character sketches based on stories he had heard as a child. In his introduction, Robert Hemenway discusses the book's enduring popularity, pointing out that the character of Uncle Remus, the docile and grandfatherly ex-slave storyteller, is ...more
Hardcover, 231 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Cherokee Publishing Company (GA) (first published 1880)
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Shelley
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay I know, before I even start this that there are already a TON of people who are morally opposed to this book on the grounds that it is racially derrogatory. I happen to disagree. As a child of the south, I grew up hearing all the Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox stories and they have not damaged me or caused me to be an evil racially hateful woman. I consider when they were written and realize that the stories are wonderfully imaginative and teach a moral lesson at the heart of each one. I remember ...more
Meghan
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: penguin-class, xy
I did not actually finish this book, but I read enough of it to get a strong sense of the ideas and stories and voice. Its strengths involve an incredibly faithful rendering of an older dialect of AAVE, which is valuable to have in the public record, and some twists on traditional African folktales and mythologies which involve the traditional Trickster character. Its faults include phenomenal racism, historical revisionism, and frankly, a dragging, lamentable storytelling style that is unsatisf ...more
Robin
I loved this book and although I've seen portions of the movie here in the states I don't think I've ever seen the whole thing and last I heard never will. Its sad if you ask me because it depends on what you choose to focus on and if you focus on the fact it places slavery in a good light which I've heard some say it does then yeah that's not good. But if you decide to focus on the relationship that children who happen to be white have with Uncle Remus who happens to be black (sort of a Grandfa ...more
Maria
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was curious to read this, particularly in light of Alice Walker's assertion that these stories made her ashamed to be black. I get it, but the stories, songs & sayings are interesting from the perspective of a certain time & place & viewpoint; I think the author meant well.
Garrett Cash
As Uncle Remus says about his brand of syrup, "Dis sho' am good."
Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings is a fascinating read that splits opinions like no other. On the one hand you have people saying things like:

“As the racial stereotypes of the nineteenth century are inappropriate today and may be offensive to many contemporary readers, we have eliminated [...] Uncle Remus.”

Then you have the other side saying “Uncle Remus [...] is revealed as a secret hero of [Joel Chandle
...more
Lani
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, kids
I had read a few of the Brer Rabbit stories as a kid; this collection included not just the Brer Animal stories, but also all of the (even more) terribly offensive Uncle Tom stories of Uncle Remus. I have an affection for the Brer stories, and also see some value in their place as American 'Aesop's Fables'. Morality tales couched in animal form that are fun, silly, and still a little creepy.

That said, the collection is difficult to read due to the dialect, and once you've made it through the chi
...more
Jen Julian
I read this for my grad-level folklore class, so my approach to the book was predominantly critical. However, I was surprised by the intricacy of the tales and genuinely enjoyed many of them. Brer Rabbit is an authentic Afro-American figure, evolved from the the trickster hare character of African folktales. Slaves found revolutionary recourse embodied in this ever-cunning underdog. Brer Rabbit is no goody-goody; he is possibly one of the first real bad-asses to grace the American folklore canon ...more
Claire
I really wanted to give this book a higher rating than just three stars. The folk-tales themselves are wonderful and culturally significant classic trickster tales that, to quote the introduction by Robert Hemenway, "symbolically inverted the slave - master relationship and satisfied the deep human needs of a captive people". Brer Rabbit is a survivor, the Fabled Hare, a symbol of endurance and the triumph of the underdog over his big brutish oppressors. In other words, NOT RACIST.

However, Joel
...more
Jon Mills
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Takes a bit of work to read since it is written in a Southern dialect, but I found reading it out loud helped. Wonderful stories that are a part of the American tapestry and tend to transport the reader back to that thine and place.
Beverley
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
As a child I loved Uncle Remus. When I decided to reread the stories I quickly learned that they need to be read aloud. The language is almost impossible to read silently because of the way words are misspelled to represent the southern drawl.
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Joel Chandler Harris was an American journalist born in Eatonton, Georgia who wrote the Uncle Remus stories, including Uncle Remus; His Songs and His Sayings, The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation, (1880), Nights with Uncle Remus (1881 & 1882), Uncle Remus and His Friends (1892), and Uncle Remus and the Little Boy (1905).

The stories, based on the African-American oral storytelling tradition, wer
...more
More about Joel Chandler Harris...