Dial review of On the Plantation (1892), "Old-Time Plantation Life" by Alexander C. McClurg. Weblink.
[...] However it may be about the dialect, it would be hard for anyone who knew the negro of that time even very imperfectly to believe that Mr. Harris does not faithfully portray the negro as he existed in the South at the time of the war. The old plantation negro and the old negro house-servant seem to live and talk again in his pages; and very interesting and attractive people they are, full of quaint good sense, full of affection, of good humor, and of natural courtesy. Why has the negro of to-day so completely lost the best traits that marked his race at that time ? The good nature and humor are gone and the courtesy is gone; and what good qualities have taken their place? The negro has become a voter, and in the effort to seem the peer of the whites he has copied many of the worst defects of uncultivated white men, and has at the same time lost some characteristics of his own which once made his race attractive and lovable. It is a period of transition: let us hope that as it took a hundred years to transform the African savage into the gentle and lovable negro known on many a plantation before the war, so an- other hundred years may develop the negro of to-day into something much better than now seems probable. It is sad that the overthrow of a great wrong like slavery must smite, for the time being, the victims as well as the oppressors. [...]
Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology.
Laura Gibbs, Ph.D.
This work is licensed under a Creative
You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial
purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute
the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.