Black People : Josiah Henson: Uncle Tom syndrome

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Bast Bastet, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Bast Bastet

    Bast Bastet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Uncle Tom is a term for a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people. The term comes from the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Critical and popular views of both the character and the novel have shifted over time, leading to the shift in the term's use.


    Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site commemorates the life of Reverend Josiah Henson. Recognized for his contributions to the abolition movement and for his work in the Underground Railroad, he rose to international fame after Harriet Beecher Stowe acknowledged his memoirs as a source for her 1852 anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It was Henson's life experiences that inspired Ms. Stowe's creation of the character Uncle Tom in her 1852 outcry against slavery.
    http://www.uncletomscabin.org/

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    Uncle Tom syndrome is a concept in psychology. It refers to a coping skill where individuals use passivity and submissiveness when confronted with a threat, leading to subservient behaviour and appeasement, while concealing their true thoughts and feelings. The term "Uncle Tom" comes from the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, where the African American slave Tom is beaten to death by a cruel white master for refusing to betray the whereabouts of two other slaves.

    In the American racial context, Uncle Tom is a pejorative term for blacks that give up or hide their ethnic or gender outlooks, traits, and practices, in order to be accepted into the mainstream—a so-called race traitor. In African American parlance this is also derogatorily known as an Oreo cookie, black on the outside only, white on the inside
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Tom_syndrome

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    Why are some African Americans being labeled as race traitors and uncle toms?

    Are there any good so-called uncle tom?
     
  2. Bast Bastet

    Bast Bastet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Are there two Christs?

    Uncle Tom’s character is sketched with great power and rare religious perception. It triumphantly exemplifies the nature, tendency, and results of CHRISTIAN NON-RESISTANCE. We are curious to know whether Mrs. Stowe is a believer in the duty of non-resistance for the white man, under all possible outrage and peril, as for the black man… Talk not of overcoming evil with good—it is madness! Talk not of peacefully submitting to chains and stripes—it is base servility! Talk not of servants being obedient to their masters—let the blood of tyrants flow! How is this to be explained or reconciled? Is there one law of submission and non-resistance for the black man, and another of rebellion and conflict for the white man? When it is the whites who are trodden in the dust, does Christ justify them in taking up arms to vindicate their rights? And when it is the blacks who are thus treated, does Christ require them to be patient, harmless, long-suffering, and forgiving? Are there two Christs?

    James Weldon Johnson, a prominent figure of the Harlem Renaissance, expresses an ambivalent opinion in his autobiography:

    For my part, I was never an admirer of Uncle Tom, nor of his type of goodness; but I believe that there were lots of old Negroes as foolishly good as he; the proof of which is that they knowingly stayed and worked on the plantations that furnished sinews for the army which was fighting to keep them enslaved.” James Weldon Johnson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Tom
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    I think it is important that we, as a People, distinguish between fact and fiction.

    You gave a lot of information about the term "Uncle Tom" and the fictionalized account in a book written by a White woman, but you gave very little information about the so-called "real" 'Uncle Tom,' Josiah Henson.

    Of course, a White woman, in pre-civil war America(1852), would have found a devoted slave to be a "romantic" notion to write about.

    She sho' wasn't gonna write about Nat Turner(1831) or Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth who were also contemporary to her time. :cool:

    So, I would suggest that others also read about Josiah Henson's life from his own words and not just a fictionalized novel by a White woman.

     
  4. Bast Bastet

    Bast Bastet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Why are some African Americans being labeled as race traitors and uncle toms?

    Are there any good so-called uncle tom?
     
  5. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Why?...because the term "Uncle Tom" has become the all-encompassing label used by Blacks towards other Blacks who do not meet their "requirements" for resistance or revolution against White supremacy.

    Why?...because a lot of "Kunta Kinte WANNA-BEEs" look down on any other Black person who does not react or behave as they would have them to do in the face of staunch, debilitating, or even life-threatening White supremacy.

    Why?....because too many Black people have a false mindset of "Well, if that wuz me, I woulda..." ----- When, they didn't actually live under the same conditions. They didn't have to choose the "lesser of two evils" the way many of our ancestors did.

    I would say, Yes.

    Many of our own grandfathers and great-grandfathers worked in subservient positions....They were doormen and shoe-shine boys and pullman porters and drivers, etc... And they "Yassuh-ed" and bowed and kow-towed and smiled and did what they had to do to keep a job in order to feed, shelter and clothe their families.

    So, were they "Uncle Toms?"

    And what about our ancestors in the South who were caught up in the "new slavery" of Share-Cropping?

    Even those who could read and do arithmetic who knew they were being cheated, should they have stood up to their White employers and be killed and their families left w/o them or have their whole families killed or be kicked off the land where they farmed with nowhere to go?

    Were they "Uncle Toms?"
     
  6. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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  7. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada. Narrated by Himself. (Boston: Arthur D. Phelps, 1849)

    EXCERPT ONE (pages 1-27)
    [Pages 27-37. Now living in Kentucky and working for Amos Riley (called "R." in this 1849 text), Henson meets a white Methodist preacher, who encourages him to buy his own freedom, and helps him devise a means to do so. Henson travels back to Maryland to meet with Isaac Riley, preaching to white Methodist congregrations and raising money on the way. He arranges with Riley to buy himself for $450, but upon returning to Kentucky finds that his master has deceived him, tricking him out of $350 and leaving him a slave. "I consoled myself at well as I could . . . resolved to trust in God, and never despair."]

    EXCERPT TWO (pages 37-44)
    [Pages 44-60. He knows he is on the verge of being sold in New Orleans when Amos Riley, Jr., falls seriously ill and depends on Henson to carry him back to Kentucky. There Henson decides to escape to freedom, although it takes some time to convince his wife to accompany him along with their four children. The family is rowed across the Ohio by a fellow slave, helped in the Ohio wilderness by an Indian tribe, and carried from Sandusky to Canada by the captain of a freight boat. Arriving in Canada on October 28, 1830, he finds work almost immediately as a day laborer.]

    EXCERPT THREE (pages 60-68)
    [Pages 68-76. After several years pioneering on new land, while making periodic trips back into Maryland and Kentucky to bring other slaves back to Canada with him, Henson finds white sponsors for the idea of his black community at Dawn. He buys land and founds the manual labor school.]

    http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/henson49hp.html
     
  8. Bast Bastet

    Bast Bastet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    too many Black people have a false mindset

    So, all African American should bow down to white supremacy?

    What kind of mindset should they have? Christianity!!!
     
  9. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    I noticed you didn't respond to the rest of my post. :?:

    However, as far as I know, adhering to Christianity is NOT a PREREQUISITE for being a so-called "Uncle Tom."
     
  10. Bast Bastet

    Bast Bastet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Was Josiah Henson a Christian?
     
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