This unique collection brings together selections from the work that has defined our understanding of racism. Every significant contribution to the analysis of racism over the past 50 years are comprised in this one book, including extracts from Myrdal's An American Dilemma, Cox's Marxist theory, Carmichael and Hamilton's introduction of the term ‘institutional racism’ and recent textual analyses. Ordered chronologically, so that the reader can work through the narrative of changes coherently, each contribution is introduced by the editors and the whole collection is bound together by introductory and concluding chapters. The result is an unparalleled teaching and study resource. No other book presents the highlights, range and complexity of the various attempts to unravel racism, in such a comprehensive and panoramic way.
Chapter 30: Origins of the Myth of Race
Origins of the Myth of Race
The author argues that racism, or racial hate, or ‘racial prejudice’ emerged during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as a justification for institutional slavery. Jenness states that ‘the myth of a black race that is inferior was developed to rationalize the institution of enslavement of blacks from Africa'. Initially, the justification for racism was that blacks, and also Indians, and others were not Christian, but infidels. But this justification was not effective because it placed a burden on Christians to convert non-Christians and ultimately to treat new converts equally. Thus, skin color, became a convenient mechanism for the enslavement of millions of laborers. Racial categorization of some laborers was also functional during the imperialism ...