History of White People, Chapter 5

The White Beauty Ideal as Science

by Simona Brickers

Chapter 5 served its own personal challenges within a social structure that speaks to convince all ethnicities that white skin is preferred. This topic escapes no one, instead it infects the mere grasping that one self is important in all ways that we emerged because we are precious from a higher source. Reflection draws on the foundation Chapter 4 provided understanding that sexual slaves serviced the wealthy as precious purchases… Read the rest at the Beyond Black and White Facebook Discussion Group.

This page has an overview of the Beyond Black and White discussion of Nell Painter’s book, The History of White People.

The History of White People, Chapter 3

This post on Chapter 3 of Nell Painter’s book, The History of White People, is part of an online book chat sponsored by the Beyond Black and White Facebook discussion group. For more information on the book and the Beyond Black and White book club, follow this link.

Many thanks to Simone L. Brickers, for the following summary and discussion prompt:

Chapter 3
White Slavery
Nell Irvin Painter wrote, “A notion of freedom lies at the core of the American idea of whiteness.”
During the eleventh century Dublin was Europe’s largest slave market as Vikings slave traders fueled the slave trade.  The over arching implication for white slavery was dictated by the demand for labor in the fields on sugar plantations.  The history of white slavery fails to include incidents of brutality, poverty, or disenfranchisement at least no mention of abusive treatment was highlighted; however, the suggestion that people enslaved were different was implied.  John Wintrop, governor of Massachusetts, proclaimed that, “…mankind as in all times some must be rich, some poor, and some high and eminent in power and dignity, others mean and in subjection according to God Almighty.”  The social justification for slavery appears rooted within the Anglo-Saxon Christian belief of hierarchal order…  White slaves were primarily convicts those identified as socially unacceptable…
With this said, can you wrap your heads around white people being slaves?
Do you think that white slavery can compare to black slavery?
Does it appear that white slavery encroached upon the lives of whites people in ways making it challenging for them retain human dignity?

Collaborating Across Boundaries to Engage Journalism Students in Computational Thinking

This presentation was part of a poster session at the 2015 AEJMC conference in San Francisco, California. A paper based on this publication is currently under review. More information on the CABECT project is available on our research website.

The History of White People, Chapter 2

Professor Painter begins this chapter with the statement:

“What we can see depends heavily on what our culture has trained us to look for.” She goes on to talk about how the Romans began to differentiate further among people who had formerly been known as “Celts” or “barbarians.”  But how might this statement challenge us as 21st century readers looking at this ancient history?

William F. Buckley wrote that, “History is the polemics of the victor,” and Painter’s presentation of the Roman historians views of the Gauls, Romani and Celts is certainly consistent with that. Here, we begin to see immutable traits being ascribed to various groups based on their willingness to be assimilated into a dominant culture. How might we imagine this history written from the perspective of the conquered?

For background on this Beyond Black and White book discussion, see the main page

The Facebook discussion of this chapter is here.

This post will take you to the prompts and Facebook discussion for the introduction and first chapter.

History of White People, Introduction and Chapter One

Based on what you have read so far, what are your expectations for this book
Painter describes people reaching fashioning a narrative about their own origins based on the fragments of evidence and myth from distant places (eg Marco Polo placing Moses’ Mt. Ararat in Armenia.) Why do these origin stories matter? Other thoughts about the chapter?

For background on this discussion see this page
The Facebook discussion page for this chapter is here. Comments may be posted in either location.