Native Writers And Intellectuals Presented The Time

1362 Words Oct 2nd, 2014 6 Pages
Raquel Spencer
Antebellum black writers and intellectuals presented the time as one that not only required defending the people’s rights to merely exist as citizens in America but also desperately called for proving that blacks were even a part of the human race. With scientific racism emerging out of the 18th century enlightenment, European influences on racial classification had permeated the minds of white slavery advocates and intellectuals. By using techniques simliar to classifying the animal kingdom, racist ideology provided generous and universally accepted rationalization for the popular idea that black men and women were inherently inferior and had natural incapacities. This ideology was used to justify and popularize black enslavement. It was a way for scientists to affirm biblical and scientific relationship that whites were, by God’s will, made to rule over blacks. Blacks writers and their advocates used environmentalist theories that proclaimed that racial characteristics were not innate but rather the result of environmental factors such as climate and culture. Riding on the heels of the diminishing enlightenment era and ever increasing decomposition of the religious strong hold in the ‘West’, environmentalism became “the first truly racial conception of mankind insofar as it set out to explain race as a fundamental and important distinction between human beings”. This theory led to the post-enlightenment shift from theological to biological thinking and was…
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