The Myth of Ham in Nineteenth-Century American Christianity
February 7, 2004
|Race, Heathens, and the People of God
|Palgrave Macmillan US
|This monograph is an original study of what is commonly termed the American "myth of Ham". It examines black and white Americans' recourse to the biblical character of Ham as a cultural strategy for explaining racial origins. Previous studies in the area have been restricted to associating the Hamitic idea with pro-slavery arguments, whereas the thesis of this project reveals a fundamental irony: black American Christians who reinforced the meanings of illegitimacy by appealing to Ham as the ancestor of the race.