Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby live on in the recollections of elderly Americans and the literary record of the United States, but those creations of Joel Chandler Harris are unlikely to be found in print today because they belong to an age when slavery was part of American remembered experience, and Harris’ Uncle Remus, the old slave telling children his tales of animal adventures, did not offend.

The sinister Br’er Fox and the wily Br’er Rabbit are in fact classical figures of folklore, traceable back to African legend and surviving into the 21st century under other names in animated Hollywood cartoons.

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