Wednesday, February 15, 2017

the last book I ever read (Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning, excerpt one)

from the 2016 National Book Award winner for Nonfiction Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi:

Almost from Columbus’s arrival, Spanish colonists began to degrade and enslave the indigenous American peoples, naming them negros da terra (Blacks from the land), transferring their racist constructions of African people onto Native Americans. Over the years that followed, they used the force of the gun and the Bible in one of the most frightful and sudden massacres in human history. Thousands of Native Americans died resisting enslavement. More died from European diseases, from the conditions they suffered while forcibly tilling fields, and on death marches searching and mining for gold. Thousands of Native Americans were driven off their land by Spanish settlers dashing into the colonies after riches. Spanish merchant Pedro de Las Casas settled in Hispaniola in 1502, the year the first enslaved Africans disembarked from a Portuguese slave ship. He brought along his eighteen-year-old son Bartolom√©, who would play an outsized role in the direction slavery took in the so-called New World.



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