Unisa Press

Race and the construction of the

Author: Bernard M Magubane
Published: October 23, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-86888-326-4
Number of pages: 278
Prices: R 244.12 | $ 22 | £ 17 | € 18
This book is not available in electronic format

About the book

This major contribution by Ben Magubane – who has made a lifelong study of the political economy of race – tracks the function and history of racism. It details the earliest written – and indeed very seldom quoted – responses to the ‘other’ of white supremacist philosophers. These anthropologists and other ‘scientists’ and thinkers of their day gave racism legitimacy, by insisting on the innate biological and cultural characteristics and differences between black and white people. Such arguments provided much of the political consciousness of the ‘civilising mission’ of Empire, and later fed the projects of capitalism and imperialism. Ben Magubane, a respected African scholar, brings together a formidable array of primary sources to present his exposition of the foundations and proliferation of racism. He examines the way in which black people came to be enslaved, denigrated, likened to wild animals, and regarded as an inferior, dispensable ‘other’. He also questions why philosophers, political theorists and intellectuals were seduced by settler colonialism, to the extent that they closed their eyes to its ravaging effects on indigenous people.