I was six years old whenever I first saw it. On a snowy winter's afternoon, I went to the local theater with my neighbor friend and we saw Disney's Song of the South. It was then that I fell in love with Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and Uncle Remus. Everyone must be familiar with the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby. This movie is based on the folktales collected by Joel Chandler Harris. These tales are the dialect tales told by African American slaves that Harris had heard as a small child in Georgia. Their documentation provides a glimpse into 19th century African American culture in which these humorous tales also carried a means of commentary against the suppression of Black Americans by the majority Whites.
Tonight, while Mrs. Bloom was off at critique group, I broke out my copy of The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus and introduced Brer Rabbit and Uncle Remus to my kids. McK asked if we were going to read the whole book. "Yes," I said, "all 870 pages tonight!" We read 3 or 4 of the tales and then broke out my bootleg copy of Song of the South and began watching the movie. K wasn't too impressed with the stories, probably because of the dialect, but he was all about the video. When it was time for bed, McK asked with a hopeful look in her eyes if we could read some more Uncle Remus tomorrow night. Absolutely!
"It's the truth. It's actual. Everything is satisfactual!"