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"Origins of Race"

Contemporary scholars agree that "race" was a recent invention and that it was essentially a folk idea, not a product of scientific research and discovery. This is not new to anthropologists. By Audrey Smedley.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

"How Race Survived U.S. History"

In this absorbing chronicle of the role of race in US history, David R. Roediger explores how the idea of race was created and recreated from the 1600’s to the present day. From the late seventeenth century—the era in which DuBois located the emergence of “whiteness”—through the American Revolution and the emancipatory Civil War, to the civil rights movement and the emergence of the American empire, How Race Survived US History reveals how race did far more than persist as an exception in a progressive national history.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

"Background Readings: Africans, Slavery, and Race"

Was it inevitable that Africans would be imported to the Americas to become slaves? Did European views about racial inferiority contribute to the fact of New World African slavery? By John Cheng.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

A History of Slavery in the United States

Slavery in what became the United States probably began with the arrival of "20 and odd" enslaved Africans to the British colony of Virginia, in 1619. It officially ended with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

"End of Slave Trade Meant New Normal for America"

Two hundred years ago this month, the United States abolished the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Eric Foner, a historian at Columbia University, takes listeners inside the historical moment tied to one of America's darkest eras. NPR.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

"Who is Black? One Nation's Definition"

By F. James Davis. To be considered black in the United States not even half of one's ancestry must be African black. But will one-fourth do, or one-eighth, or less? The nation's answer to the question 'Who is black?" has long been that a black is any person with any known African black ancestry. This definition reflects the long experience with slavery and later with Jim Crow segregation. In the South it became known as the "one-drop rule,'' meaning that a single drop of "black blood" makes a person a black.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism

Scientists, including those who study race, like to see themselves as objectively exploring the world, above the political fray. But such views of scientific neutrality are naive, as study findings, inevitably, are influenced by the biases of the people conducting the work. Book by Ramin Skibba.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

Race, The Power of Illusion

An online companion to the award-winning documentary series by California Newsreel discussing the origins, beliefs and consequences of what we call race.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

"Notes on the State of Virginia"

The wide reputation and high value that have been accorded to the Notes on Virginia for over
one hundred years make any attempt to praise it at this day little less than a work of
supererogation. Its frequent republication is alone testimony sufficient to prove its unusual merit.
Aside from its intrinsic value, it is of interest, as Thomas Jefferson’s most serious piece of book-making,
and the one on which the larger part of his philosophical reputation was based during his
lifetime.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators

"Country, Conscience, and the Anti-Slavery Cause"

Frederick Douglass, “Country, Conscience, and the Anti-Slavery Cause : An Address Delivered in New York, New York, May 11, 1847.” New York Daily Tribune, 13 May 1847. Blassingame, John (et al, eds.). The Frederick Douglass Papers: Series One—Speeches, Debates, and Interviews. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979. Vol. II, p. 57.

  • Historical Foundations of Race
  • Educators
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