Midterm Essay - According to Michael Omi and Howard...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
According to Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s book Racial Formation in the United States , they define race as “a concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to different types of human bodies.” (55) Be that as it may, this physical concept of race has not always existed; in fact, its conception actually coincides with early European exploration and colonization. As Europeans traveled to different continents, they quickly began to classify the physical and cultural differences of the new people they encountered. A prime example of this Euro-classification was in the subsequent trans-Atlantic slave trade, which fueled a larger desire to classify humans based on race in order to keep Africans subordinate and enslaved. This belief, that white Europeans were superior to those they colonized, allowed Europeans to categorize, conquer, and enslave Africans on the justification of racial pseudoscience which proliferated during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although the concept of race draws on the human phenotypes, the selection of these specific human characteristics for racial classification “is always and necessarily a social and historical process” (Omni and Winant 55). Accordingly, though race is not specifically mentioned, the origins for the scientific conception of race can first be traced to Ancient Greece, in which the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle claims that slaves naturally occur because their bodies are of the physical strength to do servile labor (Tillery). Moreover several centuries later, religious justification for slavery emerges when Pope Nicholas V proclaims that slavery is to be instituted for “heathens” or non- believers of the Christian faith.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/13/2008 for the course WOMEN, AFR 101 taught by Professor Donaldson during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

Page1 / 4

Midterm Essay - According to Michael Omi and Howard...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online