Br'er Rabbit Stories
The printing press of the Cherokee Advocate in the 1800s
Br'er Rabbit is short for "Brother Rabbit". He's a rabbit who sometimes tricks people and sometimes gets tricked, like the African Anansi the Spider and like the rabbit in earlier Creek and Cherokee stories. In West Africa and Central Africa, where many of these African-Americans came from, the same kind of stories are sometimes about rabbits. Probably the Br'er Rabbit stories came from mixing of these two earlier kinds of stories in the 1800s AD, when many African people were working as slaves planting rice and picking cotton in Georgia and Louisiana. Many Cherokee people lived there, and so their stories began to mix together. By 1845, Cherokee people had printed the Tar Baby story in their newspaper. White children learned these stories too, and liked them, and by the 1880s white people began to write down Br'er Rabbit stories and get them printed in English and French books.