Writers Note: We often respond to questions and concerns. This is one of the most frequent questions and/or comments we receive at The FreedomJournal. We trust that we have answered your question and concern.


Carl A. Patton, Writing for The FreedomJournal 2000.

Mr. Patton. Again you continue to lambaste Josiah Henson while neglecting to mention his eventual change of heart. Yes, Josiah led slaves from one plantation to another. Yes, his mind was poisoned by the slave masters mentality, and yes, at the time his actions were (in his mind) the righteous thing to do.

Your Right...but...you continue to fail to mention his eventual change of heart which led him to lead MANY, MANY slaves to freedom in Canada....Brother Cal, is not your refusal to mention the second half of the story tantamount to his-story of African History?? By mentioning mere pieces of history are you not guilty of the same thing the authors of your elementary school history books are guilty of??? Yes brother Cal..tell the truth.. but tell the WHOLE


FREEDOMJOURNAL: One of our readers made the previous statements. We are grateful for the response and concern about the history of Black Americans. We often get responses and comments concerning the use of Uncle Tom as a description of Lackeys, Traitors, Boot-Lickers, Snitchers and those that commit Black on Black discrimination. This list could go on but we don't have the time nor space. However it is for sure that the Uncle Tom in the Black community is the worst of the worst.

From our evaluation and experience there is a great deal of confusion and false assumptions about the use of Uncle Tom. This confusion has come about because those that have sought to confuse and mis-inform Black people about their history have distributed this false information. Also, since the advocates of economic racism have enlisted so many Uncle Toms, most if not all become defensive whenever someone (The FreedomJournal) exposes them to the masses.

Concerning the Brother's statement that places Josiah Henson as a Hero or Villain. Josiah Henson from our analysis is not to be held up as a Hero because he finally came back to his people. The record shows as our Brother has mentioned that Josiah committed crimes against his people. The record also shows that Josiah Henson later in his life helped bring other slaves to freedom. However, the record shows that Josiah Henson only came to his senses when the White Slave- Master clearly abandoned Josiah. Thus, if the Slave-Master had not attempted to sell him down river, and separate him from his family, Josiah Henson would still be a loyal slave. Also, if the Slave-Master had not swindled him out of his money that he paid the Slave-Master for his freedom Josiah would still be a loyal slave. Therefore, Josiah only sought freedom when the Slave-Master oppressed him beyond his wildest dreams. So Josiah Henson came back to his people because he had nowhere else to go.

Once upon a time a man was married to a good woman. He took this good woman for granted and developed a roving eye for every young lass he encountered. One young lass beckoned him to come to her. He left his good woman for this young lass. This young lass only wanted to break up his home and did not love him. When he left his good woman and children for her, she put him out. Since he had nowhere else to go he came back to his good woman. She accepted him back but she knew that he did not come back because he loved her or felt responsible for her and the children. She knew that he came back only because he had nowhere else to go.

In the article that the Brother questions we note that the readers should read the article "Uncle Tom Origin and Reality." This article gives detailed information about the origin of Uncle Tom. For the record the FreedomJournal does not feel that it is necessary to mention the so-called eventual change of heart by Josiah Henson every time we have to use him as the one who set the precedent for Uncle Toms down through history. We make this conclusion because Josiah Henson had a change of attitude because of necessity. Thus this change was not sincere and it did not come From The Heart. We believe that Josiah Henson was still a faithful slave that had been scorned. Thus, if the Slave-Master would still allow him the scraps from the table like a Dog he would still wag his Tail like a good Dog.

We also note that one cannot be prejudiced when it comes to making an analysis of the Black Experience. For example in most Black families there are and have been Uncle Toms. Most also have homosexuals, lesbians, drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals, thieves etc. No family has an exclusive lock on good or bad. Thus, as responsible journalists we have to be willing to call a spade a spade. Therefore we are not shocked that the negative elements we have just noted also are found in our family. We are not ashamed of this fact because this is reality. THE STARK REALITY IS THAT THERE ARE MANY UNCLE TOMS PAST AND PRESENT. WE CANNOT DENY THIS FACT. OUR MISSION OF UNITY MEANS THE ACCEPTANCE OF REALITY. DO NOT GET CONFUSED AND FOSTER DIS-UNITY BECAUSE OF SELFISH INTERESTS.


Carl A. Patton, FreedomJournal

The Origin and Reality of Uncle Tom

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