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By Mia Bay

How did African-American slaves view their white masters? As demons, deities or one other race completely? while nineteenth-century white american citizens proclaimed their innate superiority, did blacks agree? If now not, why no longer? How did blacks check the prestige of the white race? Mia Bay lines African-American perceptions of whites among 1830 and 1925 to depict America's moving attitudes approximately race in a interval that observed slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, and concrete migration. a lot has been written approximately how the whites of this time considered blacks, and approximately how blacks seen themselves. in contrast, the ways that blacks observed whites have remained a historic and highbrow secret. Reversing the focal point of such basic reports as George Fredrickson's The Black Image in the White Mind, Bay investigates this secret. In doing so, she uncovers and elucidates the racial considered a variety of nineteenth-century African-Americans--educated and unlettered, female and male, unfastened and enslaved.

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The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Ideas about White People, 1830-1925

How did African-American slaves view their white masters? As demons, deities or one other race totally? while nineteenth-century white americans proclaimed their innate superiority, did blacks agree? If now not, why now not? How did blacks verify the prestige of the white race? Mia Bay lines African-American perceptions of whites among 1830 and 1925 to depict America's moving attitudes approximately race in a interval that observed slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, and concrete migration.

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Led by William Lloyd Garrison, a New England journlist and evangelical reformer, a small group of “Of One Blood God Created All the Nations of Men” 31 white Northerners began to see the gradual emancipation plans favored by colonizationists as an immoral response to the sin of slavery. Denouncing gradual emancipation as an expedient, rather than a righteous means of eradicating bondage, these white reformers joined free blacks in calling for an immediate end to slavery. Never numerous, white abolitionists had an impact that belied their numbers.

Widely popularized by Afrocentric thinkers today, the idea that the black race had ancestral ties with Egypt was not a traditional theme in African-American culture when Russwurm and Walker wrote. As they converted to Christianity in the eighteenth century, enslaved African-Americans had made the story of the Exodus their own. But far from tracing their ancestry to Egypt, black Americans identified with the Hebrews, whose escape from slavery they hoped to emulate. As an early champion of his people’s ancient heritage in Egypt, therefore, Walker first had to explain the connection between the two peoples: “Of One Blood God Created All the Nations of Men” 35 Some of my brethren do not know who Pharoah and the Egyptians were — I know it to be a fact, that some of them take the Egyptians to have been a gang of devils, not knowing any better, and that they (Egyptians) having got possession of the Lord’s people, treated them nearly as cruel as Christian Americans do us, at the present day.

The most immediate impetus for this development was a renewed discussion among both blacks and whites on the nature of racial differences that arose in response to the activities of the American Colonization Society (ACS). ” Removed to Africa, advocates of colonization argued, Christianized American blacks would contribute to the conversion and redemption of Africa. The long-range goal held by the Protestant clergy who made up the organization’s leadership was to lead American slaveholders into the gradual and voluntary emancipation of all American slaves.

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