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White Over BlackAmerican Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812$
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Winthrop D. Jordan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834022

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838686_jordan

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Erasing Nature's Stamp of Color

Erasing Nature's Stamp of Color

Chapter:
(p.512) XIV Erasing Nature's Stamp of Color
Source:
White Over Black
Author(s):

Winthrop D. Jordan

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807838686_jordan.20

This chapter shows that, of all the Negro's physical attributes, the one which had especially attracted the attention of Europeans was his color. As a scientific puzzle, the cause of the Negro's complexion was almost as poorly understood in 1800 as it had been two centuries earlier; yet there were some signs of better understanding during the early years of the nineteenth century. Blackness in men had always been more than a problem in science, however, and as a social problem in 1800 it had been transformed from what it had been a generation and even a dozen years earlier. Indeed, during the last twenty years of the eighteenth century there were signs that the Negro's complexion was becoming for many Americans a more urgent, pressing difficulty.

Keywords:   Negro, physical attributes, Europeans, color, Negro's complexion

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