Essay on The History Of Race And Whiteness

788 Words 4 Pages
Race, particularly whiteness, is a human construct with fluidity that has changed throughout time to denote the desired and powerful from the Otherized. Whiteness or Caucasian, as a classification of desired standing, gained popularity and support following its inclusion by German scientist, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in the 1795, and has since been adapted to include and exclude different “racial” groups over time. The concept of race, and whiteness, is therefore a creation used to justify Otherization and subjugation, creating a systematic model of exploitation based on perceived differences that denote, in the subjugators mind, the inferiority of those who are not white.
Nell Irving Painter is an American author and professor of history, whose most notable works center on the history of African Americans in the American south in the 19th century as well as historical analysis of race as a concept itself. In her book, The History of White People, Painter examined the creation of race and whiteness, which she believes is centered on the idea that whiteness and race are in fact human constructs, rather than a scientific fact, that throughout history had been used to justify racialized discrimination or otherization. Painter also believes that whiteness is about much more then simply the color of an individuals skin, but about one’s political, economic and social standing. To be white is to be in a position of dominance.
Painter begins by examining that in the ancient…

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