uncle tom: de-constructed
Who is uncle tom? Unmasks and interrogates the correlations to blackface minstrelsy as a direct predecessor to current racist stereotypes within communities of color. This play examines the idea of stereotypes as grotesque, dehumanizing exaggerations and examines the characters in Harriett Beecher Stowe’s novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” as a major contributing factor in the way commercial and media images of African Americans are represented today.Built on the title character from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous 1852 novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, this work is the original poetic drama that gave birth to The Conciliation Project in 2001.
Uncle tom’s characterization as the perfect Negro — an old, gentle, trustworthy black man — was indicative of the book’s one-dimensional black characters. Although Stowe was an abolitionist, her story became the basis for a host of minstrel shows performed by actors in blackface for nearly a century from 1853 until the 1940s. The minstrel shows were designed to propagate the continued misconception that black people, by nature, are shiftless, lazy, ignorant, worthless and irrelevant to society.
uncle tom: deconstructed examines and demonstrates how blackface minstrelsy is the direct predecessor to all current racist stereotypes. These stereotypes have been seared into our universal consciousness and feed both external and internal judgments.