With racism a major topic of discussion in these here United States, and the manner in which ideas of race are portrayed in the news (fake or real), one could, mistakenly, believe that the USA is the only country where this happens. Not so.

Race is indeed a global phenomenon. However, a lot of folks have a hard time with the concept that race is a construct. A what? A construct, something crafted, man-made, imagined, made up. It’s really the late-eighteenth and most of the nineteenth-century where science began to justify the transatlantic slave system upon terms of “race.”

pearsoapracismA production company in the UK, “Against the Current”, based in Exeter (I believe), has made this brilliant twelve minute video: “White Man’s Burden”, that explains how race was invented, how science contributed, but also how advertising and children’s books, and other institutions constructed race into the globe’s collective consciousness.

What the video also does, which again deserves accolades, is to show how religious-based abolitionism (especially in throughout the eighteenth century) did not perceive of “race” as we know it today. Every soul was equal before the Lord.

“White Man’s Burden” shows the transformation from a religious-centered century to a new cycle of years by which science will come to dominate. The film is brilliant on this aspect alone.