Plantation Imaginary beyond the South

“…. Despite the apparent contradiction, the role of the powerful abolitionist novel in promoting the faithful slave narrative is actually not surprising. The middle-class northern reading public that fueled the popularity of Uncle Tom’s Cabin prefigured the public that would romanticize the plantation South after Reconstruction. And the same sentimental characteristics that humanized enslaved people in (Harriet Beecher) Stowe’s eyes were present in the paternalistic myths espoused by the proslavery writers who challenged her critique.”

Micki McElya, Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth Century Americap. 10


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