Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Racism: A History (BBC 2007) Episode One

Executive Producer David Okuefuna presents a general summary of the formation of race as a discourse in the 15th and 16th century as part of the enlightenment project. Focus on slavery, the Haitian slave rebellion of 1791-1804. Features commentary by many star academics, including David Theo Goldberg (who I have met and whose work I admire).

It is an Anglo-American account of race and racism with some attention paid to the French, Spanish and Portuguese colonial missions. I suppose the bias can be attributed to the time frame and the series seems to follow a chronological order. It is interesting that they say slavery was abolished by the British in 1833. But I know that it continued in the part of Australia I come from until 1901, the year the colonies there were granted independence from Britain. So-called 'blackbirding' was part of the economy of Queensland until that time and the workers continued on after then often in harsh conditions.

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