Historical Origins of Racism in the United States

Winthrop D Jordan, “The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States” (1974)

From Europeans’ first contact with the black African until American chattel slavery reached its height in the 18th century, this eminent scholar explores the black-white relationship that evolved from one of uncomprehending discovery to racial subjugation.  The publisher states:  “Winthrop Jordan presents a vivid background study of the evolution of that relationship, the understanding of which is essential for all who undertake to fathom the roots of American racism.

“The White Man’s Burden” is derived from Jordan’s critically acclaimed monumental work, “White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro: 1550-1812″ (1968) which received the Parkman and Bancroft prizes as well as the National Book Award in History and Phi Beta Kappa’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award.”

It was indicated:

“Drawing upon information from psychology and anthropology to linguistics and literature, the book addresses itself to the ideas, problems, and propositions which were the object of much reflection for the English speaking white man of the 16th through 19th centuries:

why the Negro was black and what exactly “blackness” was:

where the Negro belonged in the “Great Chain of Being”:

whether the Negro was as intelligent as the white:

and whether black men were better “endowed” than white men,

“The White Man’s Burden” also deals with little-known events and people–the slave revolt led by “General” Gabriel in Virginia; the almanac of Negro genius Benjamin Banneker; and the brutality of authorities who castrated and mutilated blacks as punishment for crimes.

Most importantly Jordan discusses the “why” of racism and postulates some theories for the white man’s prejudice.  This is a “must” book for the student of history who requires an accurate, concise, comprehensive, absorbing account of the history of the foundations upon which modern America has been constructed.”

Dr. Jordan was Professor of History at the University of Mississippi where he was for two years Associate Dean for Minority Group Affairs in the Graduate Division.”



About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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