osso...here's the Wikipedia link on....Uncle Remus
Growing up as a Yankee Girl..I thought Uncle Remus was an invention of Disney too.
However, I'm not so sure Joel Chandler Harris totally came up with the character either.
In this Wiki link about HARRIS
both Alice Walker and Toni Morrison say he stole a part of her heritage (Walker) and Morrison remember those stories as folk tales.
Interesting aside...Have you ever read any Neil Gaimen?
In two of his books "American Gods" and "Anansi's Boys" (or anansi's sons, cant quite remember) He has a character named Anansi who is a trickser god of African origin. Both are super books, both have a really smart humor. Read American Gods first though.
Anansi is in the form of a spider, and lives by his wits...the stories that are told within the books undoubtably ring of Briar Rabbit. There's also Monkey, Lion and so forth.
I wish someone who knows more about african culture would come along.
Anyway, I might be totally wrong, but looking at it in this context, the stories are worthwhile folktales that came from another country, no different from tales brought over from the homelands of others.