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I show a wonderful animated cartoon movie of Brer Rabbit adventures.  The
students see it as a wonderfully entertaining show in which they become
familiar with southern folklore and it is one of their favorite movies.  The
movie is actually a day in the life of Brer Rabbit where he avoids being
cooked and eaten by Brer Fox and Brer Bear by tricking them over and over.
The movie can actually be shown in parts as well as in one sitting.
Although the "Tar Baby" story is one of the segments, there is nothing to
imply prejudice, race relations, or any other stereotypical incident that
could be insulting to our students, teachers and parents.  There are no
human characters in the story, only animals.  These are strictly cartoon
adventures with no mention of slavery, the uncle, or southern speech
patterns.  I use it in teaching folklore and dialect and tell the students
how the word "Brer" started, letting them know that the titles of Brother
and Sister are titles of respect and are still used today, especially in
church settings and with all cultures.

I don't have the information about the video at home but ordered it from
Library Video Company.

I then compare the stories in this video to the Anansi stories from Africa
and the Caribbean.  It's so interesting when the same story theme shows up
in both the Anansi and Brer Rabbit stories, teaching us that folklore
threads run throughout all cultures.

Madeline L. Buchanan
Library Media Specialist
W. J. Christian School (Retiring in May)
Birmingham, AL
Voice: (205) 231-5277
Fax: (205) 231-5279

"The imagination should be allowed a certain
amount of time to browse around."
--Thomas Merton

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