Today in history… March 20th, 1852… Harriet Beecher Stowe’s problematic and heavily criticized, yet best-selling influential anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was first published.
Since then, we’ve seen a number of film adaptations made, and its influence can even be found in D. W. Griffith’s Birth of A Nation, amongst others.
Thinking about Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds… I’d like to see some famous black literary characters given similar revisionist film narratives, or fantastical mash-ups like Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, to name one.
Maybe taking something like Roots, or, in this case, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and injecting a vampire/zombie/ghost/alien/whatever plot; or maybe taking a satirical hammer to D.W. Griffith’s Birth Of A Nation; or turning Bigger Thomas in Native Son into a superhero, with hidden supernatural powers… something like that.
Anyway, back to Stowe’s work… I doubt many have seen this appropriation of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin story – a scene from the 1956 Academy Award-winning film, The King and I, starring Yul Bryner and Deborah Kerr. Don’t ask me why, but, as a kid, this one was of the few films my parents had lying around the house on VHS.