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Great Babies of History
Posted April 09, 2010 to photo album "Great Babies of History"
With Babies in theaters, we take look back on some of the most memorable babies of all time.
Slide 9: Child of Racism - Tar baby
The Tar-baby was born in Joel Chandler Harris’ 19th century tales of Uncle Remus, who describes how Br’er Fox created the critter to ensnare Br’er Rabbit: “Brer Fox went ter wuk en got 'imsome tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun w'at he call a Tar-Baby.” He laid the “baby” by the road hoping Br’er Rabbit would get stuck when he picked it up. In 1946, when Walt Disney decided to adapt Harris’ stories into their animated epic Song of the South, Tar-Baby became a point of controversy, since the term was also used as racial slur. Years later, the novelist Toni Morrison tried to redeem the poor thing, using it as the tile of a book: “Tar Baby is also a name, like 'nigger,' that white people call black children, black girls, as I recall…. At one time, a tar pit was a holy place, at least an important place, because tar was used to build things…. It held together things like Moses' little boat and the pyramids. For me, the tar baby came to mean the black woman who can hold things together."