Song To The South Controversy Explained

Before getting to the many controversies about Disney’s films, let’s first look at the source material. “Song of the South” is based on the story “Uncle Remus” written by Joel Chandler Harris. Although, “text” is a term used very loosely here. Harris was a pro-Confederate white journalist from Georgia who spent most of his formative years during the Civil War on a plantation. When not performing his apprenticeship at Joseph Addison Turner’s The Countryman newspaper, Harris spent time in the slave quarters of his master’s Turnwold Plantation, listening to traditional African folk tales from those people like Uncle George Terrell, Old Harbert and Aunt. Crissy, who would become the basis of the character Uncle Remus.

About fifteen years later, Harris began compiling stories he heard from slaves about characters like Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear into his first book, titled “Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings”. Based on The book by R. Bruce Bickely Jr. About the author, Harris wanted “to preserve in permanent form curious memorabilia of a period that will inevitably be sadly distorted by future historians.” He also used “the Negro dialect” to “retain authenticity” in his fables.

However, it seems that Harris did not merely want to preserve the culture of the people who originated these stories. Instead of creating his own origin stories, he took advantage of the folklore of the slaves by transcribing their stories and acknowledging their merits. Even though it’s praised at the time and inspiring contemporary writers like Mark Twain, the legacy of Harris’s major works has been seen as the definition of cultural appropriation. Song To The South Controversy Explained

Fry Electronics Team

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