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Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908) was raised on a Georgia plantation. He never knew his father. He began his working life as a printer and became a journalist. After working for papers in Macon, Monroe, and Savannah, in 1876 he joined the staff of the Atlanta Constitution, which, that same year, published his Uncle Remus stories for the first time. These adaptations of African-American folktales, notable for their carefully observed dialect, became extremely popular. These stories proclaimed new literary way, “dialect literature,” stories written in the specific language and jargon of the plantation’s slaves. In spite of his use of “broken language,” Harris has gained the respect and the appreciation from Universities and a presidential honor. He always modestly said that he only wrote what he heard his whole life from plantation workers.

 

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