By Bernard Jaffe
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Extra resources for Men of Science in America
Are all terms whose conceptual content derived . . from evolutionary Time. (17) In hierarchizing the world, in promoting a time schema where “all living societies were irrevocably placed on a temporal slope,” European explorers and colonialists during the Renaissance and later denied coevality. They converted differences between cultures into successive stages in the Western history of humanity. ” In the Judeo-Christian cosmology of the West, chronology (and duration) provides a basis for scientific historiography in the sense that it provides a single absolute yardstick by means of which all different “histories” can be synchronized and correlated.
In White over Black, Winthrop Jordan indicates that the white/black binary was present at the beginning of American colonialism. He argues that the first Africans who came to the United States in 1691 came as indentured servants. But from the beginning, the Africans were “set apart from white men by the word Negroes” (73). The earliest census reports listed Africans separately from the English. They were “sold” to the English, yet so were other Englishmen without that separate classification. Thus, according to Jordan, prior to 1660, Africans and African Americans in Virginia and Maryland were held in bondage and contempt worse than that inflicted on the European American indentured servants.
They became the origin narratives that [legitimated] segregation as the only possible southern future” (44). Between 1890 and 1910, leading magazines and newspapers defined African Americans as ignorant, lazy, improvident, clownish, irresponsible, childish, and criminal. ” As W. E. B. DuBois points out in “The Negro in Literature and Art,” published in 1913, “everything touching the Negro is banned by magazines and publishers unless it takes the form of caricature or bitter attack, or is so thoroughly innocuous as to have no literary flavor” (91).