In leftist, intellectual, and African American literary and political circles, the figure of Uncle Tom was already under attack in 1938.
If Uncle Tom was a vernacular term for "the good Negro," then (for whites) to be a "good Negro" meant deferring to whites, expressing gratitude for white paternalism, and believing in one's biological inferiority.
For African Americans to proclaim that Uncle Tom is dead, then either nonviolent social change or violent rebellion was at hand, since the demise of this mask and its protocols would nullify the ideological premises of Jim Crow.
Furnas noted that African Americans had made of the term Uncle Tom "a hissing and a byword" (8), and that many "would rather be called 'nigger' than 'Uncle Tom'" (10).
If Reverend Taylor is the incarnation of Uncle Tom in this collection, his son Jimmy is, literally and figuratively, one of Uncle Tom's children.
For Baldwin and Gates, Bigger Thomas is the flip side of Uncle Tom: the "bad nigger" whose response is direct aggression, a response no more progressive than the "forebearance" of Stowe's Uncle Tom.
He asks the name of the deceased and is surprised at the reply: "Po' Uncle Tom is dead.
It takes a dead black American soldier to inform the passive fieldhands that Uncle Tom is dead.
The story suggests how radically different the story of any Uncle Tom might look in the hands of a black author.
Uncle Tom is killed off as hopes for social equality rise.
he was simultaneously the family patriarch and an exemplary Uncle Tom.
Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White from Uncle Tom to O.
Gates's reclamation project builds upon a generation of scholarship on sentimental fiction, melodrama, and minstrelsy that has, to some extent, supplanted three generations of specifically masculine scorn heaped upon the desexualized figure of Uncle Tom.