The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk: Race and Ethnic Images in American Children's Literature, 1880-1939

    Further Reading on Joel Chandler Harris

  • Brasch, Walter M. Brer Rabbit, Uncle Remus, and the "Cornfield Journalist": The Tale of Joel Chandler Harris. Macon, Ga: Mercer University Press, 2000. Print.

    This most recent biography of Harris covers his personal and professional life, as well as the political environment from which Harris and his writings emerged. Brasch also discusses the decline of Harris’s reputation as a folklorist and writer in the twentieth century.

  • Cochran, Robert. “Black Father: The Subversive Achievement of Joel Chandler Harris.” African American Review, 38.1. (2004): 21-34. Print.

    Cochran’s article discusses Harris’s unpopularity in the twentieth century. Cochran argues that the separation of the storyteller Uncle Remus from the story hero Brer Rabbit eventually lead to a re-characterization of Uncle Remus as an Uncle Tom-type, and Harris as a paternalist and defender of slavery. Cochran counters that in fact Harris integrated covert critiques of the racial mores of the South and that he embraced the Remus character as a father-figure.

  • Huff, Lawrence. “Joel Harris’s Mentor, Joseph Addison Turner.” Atlanta History 37.1 (Spring 1993): 5-16.

    This article focuses on Joseph Addison Turner and his influence on a young Harris. Turner helped Harris develop as a writer and encouraged an interest in literature. Huff also provides more information on Turner’s short-lived but widely-distributed periodical, The Countryman.

  • Keenan, Hugh T, and Joel C. Harris. Dearest Chums and Partners: Joel Chandler Harris's Letters to His Children: a Domestic Biography. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993. Print.

    As a domestic biography, this book arranges the letters Harris wrote to his six children between 1890 – 1908 to present a portrait of Harris’s personal life and identity as a parent to his four sons and two daughters. The familial audience of the correspondence allows an alternative portrait of Harris to emerge in contrast to the public image he cultivated.

  • Keenan, Hugh T., and R. Bruce Bickley. Joel Chandler Harris: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, 1977-1996: With Supplement, 1892-1976. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997. Print.

    Keenan and Bickley’s bibliography is an excellent reference for all secondary source material on Harris through 1996. The introductory essay highlights the major trends/themes through which Harris is studied and discussed. Keenan and Bickley provide an ample summary of each source, highlighting how the material contributes to Harris scholarship.

  • Maddux, Rachael. “Dummies in the Attic.” Paste Paste Media Group, 30 June 2008. Web. 22 July 2010.

    Maddux discusses Harris’s legacy and features the Wren’s Nest, the former residence of the Harris family and now a recently revived museum in Atlanta’s West End run by a descendant of Harris’s.

  • Russo, Peggy A. “Uncle Walt’s Uncle Remus: Disney’s Distortion of Harris’s Hero.” Southern Literary Journal 25.1 (Fall 1992): 19-32. Print.

    Russo provides context for the Disney adaptation of the Uncle Remus tales and the release of Disney’s feature film Song of the South (1946). The article contends that Disney’s Remus has so supplanted Harris’s original Remus in the public mind that Harris is often criticized for Disney’s transgressions and saddled with racist beliefs Harris did not share.

  • Harris, Julia Collier. The Life and Letters of Joel Chandler Harris. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1918. Print.

    Because Julia Collier Harris was the wife of Harris’s eldest son, Julian, the book offers an early and intimate biography of Harris. The author draws from previously unpublished letters and reminiscences of Harris’s family and acquaintances to present her portrait of Harris as a kind and modest man. The biography covers Harris’s life as well as offers commentary on his books.