Is it possible that people, all people, in the South have learbned to laugh…at themselves? Racism in the South, while it does exist, is not the stuff of Northerners who can`t keep their noses out of other folks business. Southerners have learned to get along or get by in spite of their differences, and no thanks to Yankee buttinskys.
Actually not racist. The “tar baby” isn’t a racial slur or a caricaturization of an african american. He comes from the Br’er Rabbit stories, in which he’s literally a glob of tar molded to resemble a human being. These stories were passed down as slaves’ tales that actually come from old Ghanaian folklore.
Look it up if you’d like
Love the site though, just want to set things straight.
People need to educate their selves. LocouncheeBoy has it correct and perhaps when you see something that is so hard to believe, you may want to research before you call everybody a racist in the south. I’ve met far more “north of the mason dixon” more racist than southerners.
David Lee, you’re right. I’ve lived in South Carolina for more than 7 years now. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve discovered that the people down here are no where near as tense. Racially motivated hate is FAR worse in the northern states than it is in the south. Hate doesn’t automatically vanish when you ignore it, like all other problems, you must learn to face it head on, respect others (not breast-feed their elementary school, immature name calling), and most importantly, teach your children to respect others.
I actually know people who’ve been there, and the only thing that i find off about it is that african american people actually eat there. A lot of them. So it must not be offending them as bad as you think it is.
The tar-baby was an actual character from a childrens story from many years ago. He was a little doll made from sticky tar used to catch a mischievious rabbit and looked just like the pic on the sign. It wasn’t until after that his name was converted to a racial slurr. I would eat at a cracker ass’s, but they would have to have more on the menu than just crackers!!! Politically incorrect inuendos can be found in almost any statement.
BTW, it’s not a race thing. It’s based on the Brer Rabbit stories.
Seriously, people these days are just LOOKING for ways to get offended! Let it go! Here in SC we’ve learned to get along; whenever I go up north it seems like people are far more racially sensitive than people here in the south. We don’t even notice that sort of thing anymore! If we can ignore trivial things like skin color, why can’t anyone else? And they say SOUTHERNERS are stupid? Really?
the tar baby is not racist at all… it comes from b’rer rabbit, which is an adaptation of a book written to preserve the oral stories told by slaves…. it is strange how an icon from the preserved stories of slaves (the stories originating in africa) can be called racist… if what you notice about the tar baby is that he is black colored and is therefore “offensive”, then YOU are the racist
I can’t believe some people think that’s racist. Exactly who has been offended? I see no reference to any living or dead individual or race, only a fictional character. I can’t say I’ve ever met or even seen the Tar Baby. Please – introduce me!
In truth it would only offend those citizens looking to sue somebody. Oh sorry,that may be a bit offensive. Gets to the heart of the USA’s favourite pastime – Get some money for nothing.
Talk about political correctness gone mad.
First off, it is offends you, then you have the rascism problem. Since obviously you read into something that wasnt there. Someone made a comment about segregation, welcome back to reality it still exists in certain parts of the south, because both races concur with it. Further more, cracker ass cracker……sounds like cracker barrell. Good eatin from both restaurants if you ask me and wouldn’t give a damn what any of them were called if they treated me with respect and gave me some good ole cookin!
There are WAY TOO MANY people out there today who are offended at every last thing there is!! It’s a restaurant, and if you don’t like it, spend your money elsewhere, I don’t care if its owned by a wop, kike, polack,nigger, mick, spic, gook, chink, beaner, limey, or kraut, if it’s got good food and atmosphere, I’ll eat there, pity about the Sambo’s chain, maybe we need to have a Lawyer hunting season!!
This is not racist… It has just gained a racist connotation because of idiots who have no understanding just like how the word “niggardly” is assumed to be racist but has nothing to do with racism at all. As long as uneducated people keep deciding what is “racist” and what is not we will continue to struggle as a society. And as LocouncheeBoy said, it is from the Br’er Rabbit story.. and the term “Tar Baby” is typically used to describe any “sticky situation”. So the fact that people take this as racism, ironicly enough, IS a tar baby itself.
I’m a bit of a gypsy, I have lived in FL, ME, AZ, MD, and NY. In my experience, there is just as much prejudice and as many segregated neighborhoods in the Northeast and the Southwest as there are in the South. If you don’t believe me, look at the demographics for neighborhoods on Long Island or Tucson.
Frankly, I think the restaurant owners knew there would be controversy over this, and used it as a marketing ploy. But if it’s really owned by African-Americans, then what’s the problem?
I knew that I had heard of a tar baby before, thank you for refreshing my memory on the rabbit stories, has been awhile since I heard one but I knew I had heard of it before. can’t believe so many people jump to racism, why does everything have to be about race??
Educate yourself Alice!
That’s right! It’s from the folklore of a culture. Why would that be offensive? LocouncheeBoy is 100% right! Aunt Nancy stories are of a similar line. They are the evolution from the ancient African Anansi the Trickster Spider tales. These tales are from the days where people of all ages would gather together and listen to a story teller retell ancient tales of lessons and morality with suspense and humor. People genuinely looked forward to that. Folktales are how we entertained ourselves before we secluded and segregated ourselves in front of the boob-tube!
I think a lot can be learned about people by studying the folklore of their ancestors and not jumping at the bit every time you think something is racist! Perhaps more people should also study their own forebears’ folklore too.
Not everything that has to do with one’s race is racist. And just because some stupid, ignorant, arrogant, hateful, fools turned a once cute and funny thing into something bad doesn’t mean it cannot be taken back!
The Tar Baby story is funny! Greedy old Brer Rabbit!
Now I wonder, are “Tar Baby’s” pancakes so good you’ll get stuck and cannot eat any other pancakes? Or are they so good and hearty they stick to your ribs? Hmmmm…
Oh great…now I want pancakes!!!
The Restaurant is located in Cherry Grove, SC at N. Myrtle Beach, and the food their is great. It has one of the best breakfast buffet’s anywhere. Anyone can be a racist and just pass up some really good food!
If anyone wants to believe that the character on that sign is simply an innocent fictional doll trying to catch a rabbit – wake up. Tar-baby, Sambo, Mammy & many more terms were adopted back in the 40s, 50′s, 60′s as “polite” ways for some white people to reference black people who otherwise would have been called Niggers. Period. And just because black people happen to eat there doesn’t make it cool, it makes them ignorant of history and look like fools.
I guess the people trying to justify this public racism believe that the WHITES ONLY & COLORED ONLY signs during segregation were actually just in cartoons and comic books. Those signs didn’t really exist huh? Guess that wasn’t real either. Excuse me for stepping on your denial.
I have been down North Myrtle beach for two days now. I have walked from 9th and Ocean to Main Street to keep from losing my parking spot at the beach.
I have to be honest I walked after reading this page to see if I would experience some sort of racism along the way considering I’m African American and based on this page in would be clear.
I haven’t experienced anything as of yet, they must be putting on a real show collectively.
Being from Philadelphia, I can relate to events getting out of hand. They almost had to band the Greek fest because of such poor behavior of Bikers and other idiots that come to what used to be a good event.
I also wanted to note my vacation started off rough because I told my Fiance who is White that I didn’t feel comfortable coming here after she waited a month in a half to come. I told her this because I read a few of the post on this site. People need to be more responsible when labeling people.
Jim- it is not photoshopped, I went here while I was in Myrtle Beach. Look it up. Also, this place has been open for years and no one has complained about it enough for it to be closed down, and NOT because no one gets the reference. If black people there don’t care, neither should you. From what I saw, there were black people eating and working there, and they obviously were fine with it.
i have personally eaten at that very restaurant and it is by far one of the most family and multicultural friendly eating establishments in MB. and plus tar baby is not used as a racist term so chill out on being so freakin prude. get a helmet.
the tar doll originated from African folklore called Anansi–and was told in stories in the south by slaves–it comes from Song of the South–people later turned it into a negative/racial connotation. What about the N.C. Tar Heels?
anyway–Sambo’s in Santa Barbara was actually named after the owners whose names were Sam Battistone and Nowell Bohnett Sam-Bo—had nothing to do with Little Black Sambo (who was Indian originally-not African, but later versions of the book were changed to African)
Wow, people amaze me, this is not in any way racist, it comes from a story. This is in a nice area of South Carolina and is very popular with vacationers. Some people need to lighten up and stop assuming…you just make asses of yourselves.
Not only is it not racist, as many others have pointed out the Tar Baby in the Br’er tale, but the Uncle Remus stories, of which it’s one, are African-American folklore. That is to say stories that originated with blacks, primarily souther slaves, passed down for generation until they were collected in 1881
Jeez, and people from other parts of the country look down on the South as illiterate and uneducated?? Seriously people, read a book, learn something, and if you’re this ignorant maybe it’s best you don’t post on websites exposing your ignorance for the world.
I remember reading Uncle Remus stories as a child, and I ate at Tar Baby’s with my family as a teenager on vacation…great food!
Yes, this is a *REAL* restaurant – not a photoshopped image.
I’m so tired of hearing the term “racist”. Why don’t you folks grow up? Every time I hear or see that word all I can think of is, “the one who finds it racist must be having the racist thoughts” because I don’t find it offensive…or racist…or anything else, and, judging by the amount of cars in the parking lot for breakfast, the number of “non-racists to racists ratio” must be pretty high.
I guess I can see both sides of the argument here. I grew up in a library, so I DID catch the Br’er Rabbit reference, but I can understand someone having a knee-jerk reaction if they were driving down the road and saw that sign. Most people no longer know that story. Most people don’t read, period. Sad.
Because the term, “tar baby” has come to mean something more sinister to alot of folks. Regardless of what intentions invented it, “tar baby”, over the years, became a standard slur. Certain illustrations and words can start out meaning one thing and then end up with a completely different connotation later.
When ya think about the image of the swastiska, chances are you think of Nazis, not a Tibetan symbol of good luck. It’s just a matter of being lucky enough to see something when it actually has it’s original meaning.
But being a business, you DO have to think of PR. I’m sure that there’s still a bunch of Mark Twain fans, myself included, who would hesitate about going into “Nigger Jim’s Cafe”.
This thread has now given me an insatiable hunger for food at this place. And yes, I’ll drive 400 miles for it. I’ve heard nothing but compliments about this place…
lol…@Alice B – I would dern sure eat at a place called “Cracker-ass-Cracker or Honky Bistro” and, guess what?, I’m white! I call myself a honky and a cracker all the time. I don’t even take offence if someone calls me a sandN….. because I’m a Minorcan these days. I guess I’m just a crazy cracker honky
To Clarify re: Sambo’s. Sam Battistone, the founder, was called Sambo by his friends. He named the place after himself. The Little Black Sambo thing they used was set in India and had an Indian kid and tigers.
The NAACP did sue. He changed the dark kid for a light one but told them that was his nickname and he kept it.
The BAACP dod not drag them into bankruptcy. Corporate mismanagement and fancy book keeping did. I knew one of their accountants back in the 70′s and lived a mile from their corporate HQ. Upper management spent thenselves into bankruptcy.
They still have their original restaurant on the beach in Santa Barbara.