A dummy made of tar, which cannot be struck without getting oneself hopelessly stuck to it--from the story "Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox" by Joe Harris, as told by his fictional narrator, Uncle Remus.

Tar baby has become short hand for a situation better avoided than confronted.
The issue of immigration has become a tar baby for president Gearge W. Bush.
by thalio May 16, 2006
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a situation almost impossible to get out of; a problem virtually unsolvable;
His political advisers told him to stay away from the controversy,
that it was a no-win cause, a “tar baby.”
by Richard April 18, 2004
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Tar baby is a synonym for nigger, except that it is only used in bigoted manners, whereas nigger can be a sign of respect, if the speaker is also African American.

It comes from a children's story in which the dark skin and seeming ignorance (caused by a lack of schooling) of slaves were explained by the idea that black children were baptised in tar, which made them dark and dumb.

see nigger
Biff: Let's beat the sh*t out of that tar baby.
Tad: Shall we?
by Cameron Murphy July 08, 2004
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Now used as an insult to black people, the tar baby was originally a jet black baby doll (becaue it was made out of tar) used to trap Br'er Rabbit Rabbit in an American folk tale.

Tar baby can also be a term used to describe a "sticky" situation.
It's not racist to call an actual tar baby a tar baby! That's like saying it's racist to call Ritz "crackers" or chocolate sandwich cookies "Oreos"!
by PokeyMan December 06, 2010
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A black person, or a white person covered in tar...that looks like a nigger
Wow...you are so black, you are a tar baby.
by Chodee April 08, 2008
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an extremely offensive word created in slave-days to make a black person feel inferior
by Anonymous November 05, 2003
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