Blacks in the Dutch World

Blacks in the Dutch World : The Evolution of Racial Imagery in a Modern Society

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Blacks in the Dutch World
The Evolution of Racial Imagery in a Modern Society

Allison Blakely

Examination of the development of racial attitudes and color prejudice.

In Blacks in the Dutch World Blakely provides scholars with a valuable record-in word and image-of the complex interaction between Dutch history and black history even as it examines, sensitively and persuasively, some of the intricate combinations of factors which are involved in color bias and its cultural expression." -Catherine Levesque, New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

... provocative and exceptionally well written-a significant contribution to the history of Dutch overseas expansion." -Johannes Postma, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

This is a very interesting, well-written, and thoroughly researched study based on a great variety of sources." -Choice

Blacks in the Dutch World examines the interaction between Black history and Dutch history to gain an understanding of the development of racial attitudes. Allison Blakely reveals cracks in the self-image and reputation of Dutch society as a haven for those escaping intolerance. Pervasive images of "the Moor" and "the noble savage" appear in Dutch art and popular culture; and "Black Pete" is a servant to Santa Claus in Dutch Christmas tradition. These and many other cultural artifacts reflect the racial stereotyping of Blacks that existed in the Dutch world through the time of slavery and servitude, and then freedom.

Blakely weighs the proposition that factors unique to the modern period have contributed to the creation of this racial imagery in Dutch folklore, art, literature, and religion. By viewing evolving images of Blacks against the backdrop of Western expansion, the agricultural, scientific, and industrial revolutions, and the advent of modern secular doctrines, Blakely discovers that humanism and liberalism, hallmarks of Dutch society since mediev
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 22mm | 619.99g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 117 b&w photos, 2 figures
  • 0253214335
  • 9780253214331
  • 1,281,240

Table of contents



1. The Dutch World
2. Folklore as Racial Gospel
3. Art as History
4. Dutch Literature's Dark Faces
5. In the Eyes of God: Blacks and Dutch Religious Traditions
6. The Black Presence in the Dutch World
7. Converging Images in a Changing World

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Review quote

"It is hard to conceive how such a massive and disparate body of evidence about such a complex, diffuse, and subtle set of problems might have been better assembled... This study is impressive ... " American Historical Review "This is a rich and stimulating study on the historical relationship between Dutch and blacks within metropolitan and colonial borders." African History
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About Allison Blakely

ALLISON BLAKELY is Professor of European History and Comparative History at Howard University. He is the author of Russia and the Negro: Blacks in Russian History and Thought, winner of an American Book Award.
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Rating details

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