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Neither Black Nor White Yet BothThematic Explorations of Interracial Literature$
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Werner Sollors

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195052824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195052824.001.0001

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The Calculus of Color

The Calculus of Color

(p.112) Chapter Four The Calculus of Color
Neither Black Nor White Yet Both

Werner Sollors

Oxford University Press

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

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