150 Years Young

There are so many major anniversaries around the events leading up to, and of the Civil War these days. Many of them commemorate important, but tragic events. Today we commemorate, but also celebrate, the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. We all know the name, we all remember something about it, depending […]

These are a few of her favorite things …

Madame Tussaud’s wax museum in Berlin Germany has just added a new exhibit: The girl is surrounded by some of her favorite things: magazines about the latest trends in cinema and theater and a copy of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” a book she loves. A hand-sewn dress, one of the two she owns, is hanging beside […]

Who’s Your Mammy?

“The Help” didn’t get quite as much love as expected at this year’s Academy Awards, but it was one of the more popularly beloved, acclaimed and successful Hollywood films of 2011 (as adapted from the best-selling Kathryn Stockett novel of the same name). One noteworthy dissenting voice has been from Melissa Harris-Perry, the acclaimed in […]

Black History Month

Today marks the start of African-American History Month. Quite appropriately, the majority of events and activities celebrate the many contributions of African-Americans to the history of our nation. But just as appropriately, it is also a time to reflect on the history of African-Americans in the story of our nation. The new Smithsonian National Museum […]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

200 years ago, on June 14, 1811 Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born. The sixth of eleven children of the prominent clergyman, the Reverend Lyman Beecher, all seven of her brothers became ministers, but her calling was to the written word. 160 years ago, on June 5, 1851, the paper The National Era published the first […]

“Uncle Tom was no Uncle Tom”

Steve Simms has had a revelation: I Actually Read, Uncle Tom’s Cabin When I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin … I was shocked to learn that Uncle Tom was no Uncle Tom. He was not weak or servile. He was not a wimp. He didn’t cooperate with his owners for selfish reasons or for personal advantage. […]

Did “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” Start the Civil War?

That’s the question asked in today’s NY Daily News by David Reynolds, distinguished professor at CUNY and author of the upcoming “Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America” and the editor of “Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin: The Splendid Edition.” This year marks both the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of […]

WOMEN’S HISTORY MYSTERY: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Although February was Black History Month and March is Women’s History Month, it is almost impossible to find Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin among the works featured for study in schools throughout this country. Ironically, Hofstra’s curricular guide to “New York and Slavery” lists Henry W. Beecher, Harriet’s father, among those worthy of study, […]

Uncle Tom and Dr. Kay Scarpetta

One is a black man, a slave on a plantation in the 19th century; the other a white woman in the 21st century, a medical examiner fighting crime as a forensic detective. What could this odd couple possibly have in common? For one, they are both the fictional creations of phenomenally successful women authors, whose […]

Talk About Your Classics . . .

Journalist and auction hound Sherry Howard was poking around a box of old magazines and pamphlets and you’ll never guess what she found (well, you might): “Then I came to the prize: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe as a comic book. “The prominent face on the cover art looked to be the actor […]