Black Adam in Eden. Bishop Turner’s strange theory

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Anonyme, “Black Adam in Eden. Bishop Turner’s strange theory”, RelRace, item créé par Baptiste Bonnefoy, dernier accès le 3 July 2022.
Contributeur Baptiste Bonnefoy
Sujet Une humanité des origines noire
Auteur Anonyme
Date 1893/08/17
Éditeur Indianapolis, IND : Indianopolis News
Langue en



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At the Congress on Africa the learned clergyman declares all men descendants of ebon hued ancestors – His views indorsed.

[Chicago Herald] “Revolting as the theory may appear to some present, I believe that all humanity started black – that black was the original color of mankind”. Look of amazement, shudders and then a few smiles, followed by applause from some of the colored people, greeted this sensational remark in the Congress on Africa yesterday. The speaker was not the Rev. John Jasper, the champion of “the sun do move” theory. It was one of the most learned and eloquent colored clergymen in America, Bishop Turner. He announced his belief in sober earnest and followed it up with strong arguments supporting the theory. Five right reverend fathers had seats on the platform in hall 3, where the Congress on Africa hold its day session. They were Bishops Stevens and Fallows, of the Reformed Episcopal church, and Bishops Arnett, Turner and Walters, of the Methodist African Episcopal church. Bishop Arnett presided.

Bishop Turner’s address

Bishop Turner’s address was quite remarkable in some respects, and his views in relation to the negro origin of the white race were certainly not lacking in novelty to most of his hearers. He said in substance on this point:

Revolting as the theory may appear to some present, I believe that all humanity started black – that black was the original color of mankind. The Bible assures us that God dug this world out of blackness. “Darkness was upon the face of the great deep” is the declaration of holy writ. If theorical geology is entitled to any consideration whatever, the time was when the poles of the earth and the now icebound arctics were so warm that the flora of the now tropic zones grew there luxuriantly, and the same animals that now lives at the equator roamed abroad in that ancient forest. This has been verified by the bones which have been found there of the animals now restricted to the tropical regions. So, as I see it, instead of black being a color to be despised and made the badge of degradation and infamy, to the extent that it involves the humanity of those who are black, it is the primordial, most ancient and original color of mankind. I have reached this conclusion after years of meditation, which such lights as revelation affords to my understanding, aided by the stylus of geology and the archeological collections found in the British museum. My conclusions can be wholly absurd, but scientific analyses undoubtedly makes black the base of all color, and the black man is, therefore, a primitive man.

The late learned Professor Winchell advanced a similar theory, you may remember, some years ago, and was dismissed from Vanderbilt University; but, unless I am incorrectly informed, he held that the black races of Africa were the oldest portions of humanity, and that the whites were the product of a new creation, having no consanguineous connection with the blacks. If I have quoted this learned professor accurately I beg to differ. I believe that the present black race is younger than the whites, although black at that time, had an existence when the artic region was as warm as the tropics are now, and humanity have not existence within thousands of miles of the equator, because of the intense heat which then prevailed there, but that climatic, electrical and other influences, which we shall no attempt to enumerate and define, have been modifying, transforming and bleaching this primitive stock of mankind which has been operated upon by the agents that are cooling off the world, till he appears today as our brother white, refined, polished and mighty.

The drift of nature, whether interpreted speculatively or historically, would, therefore, appear to be whiteward. Primitive man, who doubtless had existed for ages longer than our chronology fixes it, in my opinion was black, and is the father of the white races of the earth; and the same black, primitive man gave to the intermediate color, or red Egyptian, civilization, learning, science and philosophy, including skilled labor in its highest form, and this red race has transmitted to the white races letters, poetry, logic, mechanism and all the fundamentalities that the white races have embellished, refined and improved upon, until it has reached the grandeur of this world-famed Chicago Exposition.

Antiquity of the Ethiopians

The speaker then came to the consideration of the subject proper, and argued that the colored man possesses all the requisite attainments to enable him to construct buildings and apparatus necessary in the development of civilization. He gave numerous instances of negroes in the South who have made themselves famous as artisans and inventors in various lines. He pointed out the achievement of colored men as tradesmen, claiming that they possess all the ability required for a commercial career, and had only lacked the opportunity for developing it. In closing he said:

The black man is an indispensable necessity to the growth, progress and civilization of the world. Without him mankind would be incomplete, nature would have a vacuum and the world would be unfinished. Without the black man Christianity itself would lack an equipoise. For, while the white man gives a system, logic and abstractions, the black man is necessary to impart feeling, sanctified emotion, heartthrobs, and ecstasy. Thus God and nature need the black man, for without him there would be an aching void in earth and heaven. The universe would be in want of a balance-wheel and the God of eternity would again have light the forges of creation and perform another day’s work before the morning stars would sing together and the sons of God shout for joy.