Can someone point me to specific information about attempts to blame white racism on its victims?
November 10, 2004 3:29 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know which Greek philosopher introduced the idea that African men have overly large genitals, and in which work he wrote this? Also, can anyone point me to the renaissance work that attributed the supposed inferiority of black people to the curse of Cain? I've heard of (and I think read) both of these, but cannot remember the references. Any information abouts attempts to blame white racism on black folks themselves would be helpful, actually.
posted by eustacescrubb to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
The first sounds like Herodotus to me, but that's mostly just a hunch.
posted by gleuschk at 4:36 AM on November 10, 2004

(herodotus is online at the gutenburg project, iirc)
posted by andrew cooke at 5:53 AM on November 10, 2004

Not sure about the Curse of Cain, but I do know that the curse of Ham (or the Hamitic myth), was used to justify the treatment of blacks and also to explain away how these supposed savages had created signs of obvious civilization in their home countries (in Egypt and Ethiopia).

I can't find anything very good online (after only a quick look), but Here is one pass at it. I read about the history of the Hamitic myth in Mahmoud Mamdani's When Victim's Become Killers, which was an excellent analysis of the Rwandan Genocide taking into account the role Colonial explanations of race and nativism played in the genocide.
posted by buddha9090 at 6:22 AM on November 10, 2004

A bit more about the Hamitic "race" at Wikipedia.
posted by bitpart at 12:45 PM on November 10, 2004

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