simba doesn’t count
tiana was mostly frog
y’all racist as hell
transfeminine-deactivated201405 said: Your blog is absolutely killer! I'm mainly writing to express my admiration, but I'm also looking for advice. I'm writing a novel about female contemporaries of Descartes and I'm trying to get the cultural flavor of the times. This work is mainly set in the Netherlands and France and I've perused your 1600s section with interest. Do you know off-hand of any texts about POC in early mod. europe? I know this is an art blog, but you seem like you would know! Many, many thanks!
I’ve been thinking for a while about how to best answer your question, and the only real answer is this.
Pretty much the entirety of Enlightenment Europe was the use of philosophy and “science” as a means to justify chattel slavery and the subjugation of literally everyone not a white male.
If you want to get an idea of “the cultural flavor of the times” read this really unfortunate 132-page thesis by Dana Aliva Levy in which, among other horrors, Montesqueiu “apologetically” (!) justifies chattel slavery with “Climate theory” (p. 20):
put a man in a hot, enclosed spot, and he will suffer, for the reasons just stated, a great slackening of heart. If, in the circumstance, one proposes a bold action to him, I believe one will find him little disposed toward it; his present weakness will induce discouragement in his soul; he will fear everything, because he will feel he can do nothing. The peoples in hot countries are timid like old men; those in cold countries are courageous like young men.
Or page 36, where you can read about how Carl von Linne decided humans were actually TWO species: Homo Sapiens, which consisted of whites, and “Homo Monstrous" in which "Mountaineer, Patagonia, Hottentot, (indigenous) American, Chinese, and (Indigenous)Canadian" people were categorized.
Or page 51, where you can read about Jean Riolan performing medical experiments, inflicting chemical burns on a HUMAN PERSON who is described as a “black specimen”.
Or page 93, the dawn of the “medical, enlightened, and scientific” persecution, pathologization, and attempted eradication of gender and sexual minorities, with a great slathering of “anything not a white man with a penis is a sad, defective deformity”. And yes, that includes cis or cis-passing white women.
Check page 101 for the invention of the white, western gender binary (about 1750-ish).
In context, what you’d be writing about a time right at the cusp of when the throat of the world was cut and history was re-written in blood by white European men.
The Enlightenment sprang from Descartes, Hume, Locke, Bacon, and their contemporaries. The late 18th and 19th centuries were spent inventing every -ism that currently plagues this earth. The Enlightenment was Immanuel Kant’s assertion:
The Negroes of Africa have by nature no feeling that rises above the trifling. Mr. [David] Hume challenges anyone to cite a single example in which a Negro has shown talents, and asserts that among the hundreds of thousands of blacks who are transported elsewhere from their countries, although many of them have even been set free, still not a single one was ever found who presented anything great in art or science or any other praiseworthy quality, even though among the whites some continually rise aloft from the lowest rabble and through superior gifts earn respect in the world. So fundamental is the difference between these two races of man.
That’s your “cultural flavor of the times”.
That’s also your “cultural flavor” of contemporary America. White men are still earning doctorates from Harvard writing papers about the “genetic inferiority” of Black and Brown people.
My advice is: your writing exists in this context. Think about what that means before you start writing.