White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812 by Winthrop D. JordanThe Englishmen in Jamestown who greeted the first twenty Negars who arrived in 1619 had already acquired an attitude toward the Negro–from tradition, from religion, from earlier European contacts with Africans. And as the Englishman became the colonial, and then the revolutionary patriot, and finally the citizen of a new nation, seeking to find his identity in a new land, he created chattel slavery and was in turn confronted by it.
White Over Black is Winthrop D. Jordans masterly study of that process, from the 16th century through the early years of the Republic.
Omohundro Institute Website. Winthrop D. Jordan taught history at the University of Mississippi. For more information about Winthrop D. Jordan, visit the Author Page.
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White Over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812
Winthrop Donaldson Jordan November 11, — February 23, was a professor of history and renowned writer on the history of slavery and the origins of racism in the United States. Jordan's assertion in White Over Black that English perceptions about color, Christianity, manners, sexuality, and social hierarchy contributed to their "unthinking decision" to start the trans-Atlantic slave trade and crystallized by the late eighteenth century into a race-based justification for chattel slavery, had a profound impact on historians' understanding of both slavery and racism. The book's erudite discussion of inter-racial sex is credited with inspiring serious scholarly inquiry into that topic—particularly into the relationship between president Thomas Jefferson and his slave named Sally Hemings. Jordan was born in Worcester , Massachusetts to a long line of scholars and liberal thinkers. As a young man, Jordan attended the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts before going on to receive an A. Jordan's doctoral dissertation formed the foundation of what became his master work White Over Black. Jordan's teaching career began in as a history instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy.