African American History Culture : The Enlightenment’s Dark Side How the Enlightenment created modern race thinking, and why we should confront it

Clyde C Coger Jr

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The Enlightenment’s Dark Side
How the Enlightenment created modern race thinking, and why we should confront it

We still live in a world shaped by Enlightenment ideas of race and white supremacy. These notions of inherent inferiority still hold purchase in our society. And political liberalism is still too compatible with both. The path to a truly universal liberalism—one that can actually liberate—demands that we grapple with its ugly heritage. To confront the paradox of the Enlightenment is to take its values seriously; to dismiss it is to prefer hagiography to truth.

Jamelle Bouie


Slate|


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John Locke, and a wood graving of white trader inspecting an African slave during a sale circa 1850. Photo illustration by Slate. Images by ullstein bild/Getty Images, MPI/Getty Images


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