The Negro: What is His Ethnological Status... [extrait]

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Buckner "Ariel" H. Payne (1799-1883) “The Negro: What is His Ethnological Status... [extrait]”, RelRace, item créé par Clément Mei, dernier accès le 25 Feb. 2024.
Contributeur Clément Mei
Sujet La couleur dans les noms des fils de Noé
Description Dans cet extrait d’un pamphlet raciste de 1867, l’auteur affirme que deux « races », la « race nègre ou noire » et la « race blanche », peupleraient la Terre et les caractérise d’emblée de manière superficielle. Il s’attaque par la suite à deux « erreurs », apparemment communes : 1) le nom de Cham signifierait « noir », ce qui serait donc faux, et 2) la malédiction aurait été prononcée par Noah à l’encontre de Cham, or elle aurait été dirigée contre Canaan. Dans la logique de l’auteur, « la fabrication de Cham n’est pas dans le nom », car ceux de Japhet et Sem « ne décrivent pas leur couleur ». Il réfute donc que la malédiction ait transformé Cham d’un homme blanc en un homme noir. Ces explications inaugurent la prétendue démonstration de l’auteur qui annonçait, en première page (p.3), que 1) les Noirs ne sont pas les descendants de Cham et que 2) ceux-ci ne sont pas non plus descendants d’Adam et Eve. Ces derniers s’intègrent par ailleurs à la « nomenclature de la création de Dieu » dont l’auteur a fait la liste des composantes (p.4).
Auteur Buckner "Ariel" H. Payne (1799-1883)
Date 1867
Éditeur Publié pour l’auteur, Cincinnati
Langue en



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[…] It will be admitted by all, and contradicted by none, that we now have existing on earth, two races of men, the white and the black. We beg here to remind our readers, that when they see the word men, or man, italicised, we do not use it as applying to Adam and his race. But we may sometimes use these words in the general and accepted sense of them, but it is only for the purpose of getting before the minds of our readers, the propositions of the learned of this age, exactly as they would wish them to be stated. We will now describe, ethnologically, the prominent characteristics and differences of these two races as we now find them.
The white race have long, straight hair, high foreheads, high noses, thin lips, and white skins : the olive and sunburnt color, where the other characteristics are found, belong equally to the white race.
The negro or black race, are woolly or kinky- headed, low foreheads, flat noses, thick- lipped, and have a black skin.
This description of the two races is (though not all their differences), full enough for the fair discussion of their respective stations in God's order of creation, and will be admitted to be just and true, as far as it goes, by all candid and learned men. Therefore the reader will observe, that when either of the terms, white, black or negro, is used, referring to race, that we refer to the one or the other, as the case may be, as is here set forth in describing the two races.
In God's nomenclature of the creation, his order stands thus : 1. Birds ; 2. Fowls ; 3. Creeping things ; 4. Cattle ; 5. Beasts ; 6. Adam and Eve. We shall use this, but without any intended disparagement to any, as it is the best and highest authority.
Before proceeding with the examination of the subjects involved in the caption to this paper, we will for a moment, notice the prevailing errors, now existing in all their strength, and held by the clergy, and many learned men, to be true, which are : 1. Ham's name, which they allege, in Hebrew, means black ; 2. The curse denounced against him , that a servant of servants should he be unto his brethren ; and that this curse, was denounced against Ham, for the accidental seeing of his father Noah naked-that this curse was to do so, and did change him, so that instead of being long, straight-haired, high forehead, high nose, thin lips and white, as he then was, and like his brothers Shem and Japheth, he was from that day forth, to be kinky- headed, low forehead, thick lipped and black skinned ; and that his name, and this curse, effected all this . And truly, to answer their assumptions, it must have done so, or the case would not fit the negro, as we now find him. And they adduce in proof, that Ham's name in Hebrew (tCHam) , means black, the present color of the negro, and that therefore Ham is the progenitor of the black race. They seem to forget, or rather, they ignore the fact, that the Bible nowhere says, that such a curse, or that any curse whatever, was denounced against Ham by his father Noah ; but that this curse, with whatever it carried with it, was hurled at Canaan, the youngest son of Ham. But it is of little consequence, in the settlement of these great questions, which was intended, whether Ham or his youngest son Canaan. But if it be of any value in supporting their theory, this meaning of Ham's name in Hebrew, in designating his color to be black, and black it must be, to answer the color of the negro, then the names of Shem and Japheth should be of equal value, in determining their color ; for each of the brothers received their respective names a hundred years or more before the flood, and were all the children of the same father and same mother. Now, if Shem and Japheth's names do not describe their color (which they do not) , upon what principles of logical philology or grammar, can Ham's name determine his color ? How many of this day are there who are called, black, white, brown, and olive, all of whom are white, and without the slightest suspicion, that the name indicated the color of their respective owners. Is it not strange, that intelligent and learned men, should be compelled to rely on such puerilities, as arguments and truly supporting such tremendous conclusions ? But they say it was his name in conjunction with the curse, that made him and his descendants the negro we now find on earth. It is an axiom in logic, that, that which is not in the constituent, can not be in the constituted . We have seen, that the making of Ham a negro, is not in the name, which is one of the constituents, now let us see, if it is in the other constituent, the curse. Now the curse and name changed Ham, if their theory be true, from a white man, to a black negro. […]