Chapter

The Calculus of Color

Werner Sollors

in Neither Black Nor White Yet Both

Published in print October 1997 | ISBN: 9780195052824
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855155 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195052824.003.0005
The Calculus of Color

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Classification methods of racial names were an eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century obsession. The Enlightenment guarantee of using hypothetical methods in order to defeat the tyranny of clergy and hereditary aristocracy increased the hope that science would put a conclusion to the superstitions of theology. Yet as has become evident in the substitution of the curse of Ham by scientific racialism, the efforts of bringing the light of reason to “race” were deeply negotiated at times. On the one side, in the English-speaking world, it was partly due both to the revolutionary Enlightenment thinking and romantic evangelical movements that the African slave trade and slavery were ultimately destroyed; and the whole concept of antiracist scholarship rests on the Enlightenment legacy.

Keywords: classification; enlightenment; science; superstition; evangelical movements; English; slave trade; slavery

Chapter.  12986 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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