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Book Summary: White Man's Burden by Winthrop Jordan

Updated on April 2, 2012

In 1974, Winthrop Jordan wrote an important analysis about historical origins of racism of white Americans against Negroes. His book is entitled the White Man's Burden. Jordan explained that the origin of racism against Black is an old Elizabethan belief that claims that “black” has negative meaning. This includes black being dirty, evil, ugly and symbol of the devil.

Additionally, Jordan argued that prejudice in color made Black men suitable for servitude which made them even more inferior compared than ordinary white men-- poor, working class and farmers. This resulted to slavery to illustrate that Blacks belong to the lowest status of the society.

Another thing that made Blacks more inferior is the Caucasians' belief that Black men are the "cross breed" of humans and an ape-- considering Africa serves as a good habitat for apes such as gorillas and monkeys. Furthermore, the sexual aggressiveness of Black men further strengthen their belief since apes in Africa also possess the same aggressiveness.

Jordan also noted that Thomas Jefferson has a different belief about Black. He believes that Black men and White Men are both human beings that are created equal. However, he has some doubts towards Black Men's intellect.


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    B-Dawg 5 years ago

    White man listen up! Black Skin will protect you. Get a spray tan and live as a black man. peace.