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Monday, February 23, 2009
Uncle Tom's Children
The publication date for my copy was 1965. It was underlined in places which means at some point someone actually read it. I wonder if that copy of the book influenced history somehow?
The book is a series of 5 stories of southern black people. It was originally written in 1935 and includes an essay by the author about growing up in the south. Now the book while a classic piece of history is no modern piece of work.
Firstly the white characters are brutes who exist only to brutalize black people. Now I know that all the violence, hatred and evil that are portrayed in the book went on. I know that the southern black man had a horrible existence. However there is no character development whatsoever of the white men.
Secondly Communism is the political movement of choice of the main characters. I wonder how historically accurate this is and I'd like to read more about how this affected the black political movements of the South. Most of the time you see Communism mixed up with the equal rights movement it's in relation to Martin Luther King and it's portrayed as an attempted smear on him by his opponents. I wonder how much the acts and writings of Communist sympathizers in the civil rights movement affected things in the 60s.
I'd say this book was an OK read. it was nice to see a piece of history but I wouldn't put it in he necessary category for black history reading. If you have the good fortune to get it in a big box from E-bay or see it in your local library pick it up. Otherwise read Martin Luther King's speeches or the autobiography of Malcolm X instead.