Uncle Tom is the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin.
The phrase "Uncle Tom" has also become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people; or any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group. The negative epithet is the result of later works derived from the original novel.
Read more about Uncle Tom: Original Characterization and Critical Evaluations, Inspiration, Epithet
Famous quotes containing the words uncle tom, uncle and/or tom:
“Im not an Uncle Tom.... Im going to be here for 40 years. For those who dont like it, get over it.”
—Clarence Thomas (b. 1948)
“My uncle Toby had scarce a heart to retalliate upon a fly.
Go,says he, one day at dinner, to an over-grown one which had buzzd about his nose ... go poor Devil, get thee gone, why should I hurt thee?This world surely is wide enough to hold both thee and me.”
—Laurence Sterne (17131768)
“The palsy plagues my pulses”
—Unknown. Tom o Bedlams Song (l. 37)