Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


Committee Member

Dr. Paul Anderson, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Abel Bartley

Committee Member

Dr. Orville Vernon Burton


This thesis is an attempt to understand the complex relationship between theAfrican-American community and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Itargues that a large reason for the negative connotation of “uncle Tom” within theAfrican-American community was caused by conflicts between intellectual patternsand traditions of the community and Stowe’s vision in her novel. This thesis looks atthe key texts in the intellectual history of the African-American community,including the literary responses by African Americans to the novel. This thesis seeksto fill gaps in the history of the African-American community by looking at howmembers of the community exercised their agency to achieve the betterment of thecommunity, even in the face of white opposition.