What is an Uncle Tom?

The term Uncle Tom as an epithet has never made much sense to me. If you’ve ever read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, you know that Uncle Tom was the protagonist, a slave who was martyred by his master when he refused to give up the location of some runaway slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe was not responsible for the parodies and adaptations that proliferated after her novel gained widespread success, and it was from those parodies that the term Uncle Tom derived its negative connotation: The popular negative Read more […]