ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Calvinism, while reaching its judgments about dark skin color by a route very different from

that of Catholicism, ended by associating darkness of color with evil itself. . . .

Certain color associations have survived the disappearance of their earlier Christian roots



Begrimed and Black

Color Prejudice and the Religious Roots of Racism

By Robert E. Hood


Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Spring 1967 “Color and Race”

In his Begrimed and Black: Color Prejudice and the Religious Roots of Racism (1994), Robert E. Hood made ample use of the “Color and Race” issue of Daedalus and thus emphasized its usefulness for any study of the anthropology of race. Thus we have brought the “Contents” of that issue forward so that scholars make take a second look at this 1967 issue for further consideration. In that we have usually thought of race and color prejudice as a European and Western concept, the articles on Japan and Asia are of especial interest in dealing with such a mistaken perception. [Editor]

Table of Contents


iii   Preface to the Issue “Color and Race 279 Edward Shils Color, the Universal Intellectual Community, and the Afro-Asian Intellectual 296 Robert K. A. Gardiner Race and Color in International Relations 312 Roger Bastide Color, Racism, and Christianity 328 Philip Mason The Revolt Against Western Values 353 Harold R. Isaacs Group Identity and Political Change: The Role of Color and Physical Characteristics 376 Francois Raveau An Outline of the Role of Color in Adaptation Phenomena 390 Kenneth J. Gergen The Significance of Skin Color in Human Relations 407 Hiroshi Wagatsuma The Social perception of Skin Color in Japan 444 Andre Beteille Race and descent as Social Categories in India 464 Leon Carl Brown Color in Northern Africa 483 Colin Legum Color and Power in the South African Situation 496 E.R. Braithwaite The “Colored Immigrant” in Britain 512 Kenneth Little Some Aspects of Color, Class, and Culture in Britain 527 C. Eric Lincoln Color and Group Identity in the United States 542 Julian Pitt-Rivers Race, Color, and Class in Central America and the Andes 560 Florestan Fernandes The Weight of the Past 580 David Lowenthal Race and Color in the West Indies 627 Notes on Contributors Issued as Vol. 96, No. 2 of the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences



*   *   *   *   *



Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Preface by Stephen R. Graubard 


Spring 1967 “Color and Race”

Edward Shils, “Color, the Universal Intellectual Community, and the Afro-Asian Intellectual.” (279) 

Edward Shils asks why color, an “inherently meaningless property of man” has “come to assume such great importance in the self-image of many human beings.” Recognizing that “the coincidence of color with inferior positions” in many societies has contributed to the present situation, Mr. Shils seeks for a more fundamental explanation of the phenomenon. He questions whether it may not rest in the fact that “self-identification by color has its origins in the sense of primordial connection with which human beings find it difficult to dispense.” Whether this primordial association will not soon diminish, particularly among intellectuals who will find other bases of self-identification, is what Mr. Shils is most anxious to explore. 

Robert K.A. Gardiner, “Race and Color in International Affairs” (296) 

Robert K.A, Gardiner’s interest is to describe the role of race and color in international relations. As a Europe-centered world gave way to one in which the more numerous peoples—non-white and non-Western—sought to discover a place for themselves, racial difference became an easy distinction on which to fasten. Though there seems to be a community of interest among the non-white states, other ties (historical and cultural) intervene to make their relations complex and varied. . . .Mr. Gardiner, looking at the next twenty-five years, is far from optimistic. He sees racial conflict as a distinct possibility in several places. Over the long run, however, he is more sanguine. Economic interdependence is only one of several forces making for a kind of unity which will not be subordinated to racial factors.  

Roger Bastide “Color, Racism, and Christianity” (312) 

Roger Bastide, in writing about “Color, Racism, and Christianity,” is concerned to demonstrate that “color is neutral; it is the mind that gives it meaning.” By analyzing the symbolic representation of color in the early Christian church and then among the Protestant sects, he shows how an early symbolism survived religious change, making for impressions that were exceedingly difficult to modify. Calvinism, while reaching its judgments about dark skin color by a route very different from that of Catholicism, ended by associating darkness of color with evil itself. . . . Certain color associations have survived the disappearance of their earlier Christian roots, though not without subtle and important changes. 

Philip Mason, “The Revolt against Western Values” (328) 

Philip Mason writes of a reaction in this century among colored peoples which, in his view, is becoming increasingly common. The colored man, having suffered “widespread exclusion, humiliation, and exploitation,” no longer expects to receive justice from the white man. His situation leads him to a vigorous rejection of white ideals; an identification in militantly racist terms becomes conspicuous. . . . [This] search for identity does not appear to be concerned with any formal adherence to Western ideals.  

Harold R. Isaacs, “Group Identity and Political Change: The Role of Color and Physical Characteristics” (353) 

Harold R. Isaacs sees in the collapse of the political power structures of recent centuries a collapse also of the “racial mythologies” that supported them. . . . Mr. Isaacs demonstrates the ways in which concepts of group identity are responding to political change, choosing his examples from Israel, North Africa, the Philippines, tropical Africa, India, Malaysia, and China. These examples “suggest that the issues of ‘race’ and color among men have not been reduced as a source of conflict, only shifted to new places on the crowded stage of current affairs.” 

Francois Raveau, An Outline of the Role of Color in Adaptation Phenomena” (376) 

Dr. Fancois Raveau describes research he and his colleagues have been conducting at the Centre de Psychiatrie Sociale in Paris. Their object has been to inquire into how Africans from the French-speaking republics who are studying in Paris to prepare themselves for higher posts in their own countries adapt to living in an overwhelmingly white environment. . . . The investigation . . . suggests how difficult the task of adaptation can be for the colored individual, and what anxieties it may produce in him. The implications of this monograph are certainly far-reaching 

Kenneth J. Gergen, “The Significance of Skin Color in Human Relations” (390) 

Kenneth J. Gergen examines from a very different perspective how skin color differences may serve to create feelings of alienation. That there is a common (though by no means universal) color symbolism can be demonstrated. . . . The identification by skin color, which serves to perpetuate stereotypes, is obviously damaging to the individual who suffers such categorization. The effort to counter this unjust representation must be made; the chances of success are greatest . . . if this is attempted during childhood. 

Hiroshi Wagatsuma, “The Social Perception of Color in Japan” (407) 

Hiroshi Wagatsuma, in writing about the attitudes of the Japanese toward skin color, shows how they “valued ‘white’ skin as beautiful and ‘black’ skin as ugly” long before they had any sustained contact with Europeans, Africans, or Indians. . . . there remains some resistance to certain of the physical attributes of Caucasian men and women. . . . an ambivalence to the world of white people prevails, but is constantly being re-examined. This is not so, however, for the strongly negative attitudes the Japanese hold toward Negro physical characteristics. These reactions . . . may explain why Japan has taken little note “to date of the emergence of a new Africa,” and why it feels such limited kinship with Asian countries other than China.  

Andre Beteille, “Race and Descent as Social categories in India” (444) 

Andre Beteille writes of India where religious and linguistic groupings and caste affiliations determine social groupings, but where “racial” differences are little remarked on. . . . The caste system has served to create a variety of stereotypes, some of which have to do with physical characteristics. Mr. Beteille explains the significance of the concept of jati, by which most Indians express their understanding of the meaning of race and descent. 

Leon Carl Brown, “Color in Northern Africa” (464) 

Leon Carl Brown addresses himself to the question of how the predominantly white populations living in the northern part of Africa have regarded the blacks to the south. He shows that while North Africa has been aware of the black man, it has not seen him as playing an important role. . . . “While Northern Africa is not color-blind, it is hardly color-conscious.” Only in recent years, when political advantage in a close association with Black Africa has recommended itself, has Northern Africa begun to be interested in Black Africa. . . . 

Colin Legum, “Color and Power in the South African Situation” (483) 

Colin Legum describes the racial situation in South Africa. Tracing developments since World War II, Mr. Legun shows how the power of the white minority is tied to the survival of the status quo, and why this must almost certainly lead to civil war or foreign intervention. . . . “It is clearly a mistake to minimize either white South Africa’s capacity for resistance or its determination to resist. . . . [the whites] can rule, and they do; but only by force. On either side, the colored peoples are able to challenge white authority, but lack the power to break it despite their superiority in numbers.”

E.R. Braithwaite, The “Colored Immigrant” in Britain (496) 

The position of the “colored immigrant” in Britain is described by E. R. Braithwaite. The greatest number of these immigrants—Indians, Pakistanis, and West Indians—has come to Great Britain since World War II. Mr. Braithwaite dwells particularly on the problemsof the West Indians . . .

Kenneth Little, “Some Aspects of Color, Class, and Culture in Britain” (512) 

Kenneth Little surveys [the British situation], but from a different perspective. He attempts to explain how prejudice and racial discrimination, which existed even before great numbers of colored immigrants arrived, have been heightened by the cultural differences between the host society and those who have recently come. Until those differences are reduced . . . there is no great prospect for close relations among the races. 

C. Eric Linclon, “Color and Group Identity in the United States” (527) 

C. Eric Lincoln describes the situation in the United States where “skin color is probably the most important single index for uncritical human evaluation.” Documenting “the near pathological obsession with race and color” which Americans have exhibited, Mr. Lincoln shows its deleterious effects on both white and black men. . . . “the color-caste psychology persists. . . . A universal system of apartheid has, in effect, been exchanged for a selective system of apartheid.” . . . In the idea of black Americans as “black people,” a new kind of identity is being forged. 

Julian Pitt-Rivers, “Race, Color, and Class in Central America and the Andes” (542) 

The differences between racial discrimination in the United States and in Latin America are very real. As Julian Pitt-Rivers makes abundantly clear, societies that evolved from English and Spanish colonies are fundamentally different in this respect. In North America, the problem has been “the assimilation of all ethnic groups into a single society.” In Latin America, . . . when Indians flock to the cities . . . his appearance is thought to reveal his social status. 

Florestan Fernandes, “The Weight of the Past” (560) 

Florestan Fernandes describes the Brazilian situation (particularly in Sao Paulo) . . . There, the Negro and mulatto were not able to establish themselves in the better positions as these were largely taken over by immigrants of European origin. The Negro, recently liberated from slavery, was ill adapted to urban life. . . . The “New Negro” who did break out was not always welcomed, either by whites or by his fellow Negroes. The social order, with its vestigial discrimination on the basis of color, has remained relatively unchanged. 

David Lowenthal, “Race and Color in the West Indies” (580) 

David Lowenthal writes of race and color in the West Indies, where myths of “racial understanding” are belied by the facts of racial discrimination. Still, the discrimination is of a different order than that which exists in the United States. . .

Note in his Bibliography, Robert E. Hood’s  frequent use of the Spring 1967 issue of Daedalus, an issue that deal entirely with “Color and Race.”

*   *   *   *   *


Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Spring 1967 “Color and Race”

Roger Bastide, born in 1898 in Nimes, France, is professor in the Faculte de Letters et Science Humanities at the Sorbonne and Director of the Centre de Psychiatrie Sociale. He is the author of Sociologie et Psychanalyse (Paris, 1950); Les Religions Africaines au Bresil (Paris, 1960); and Sociologie des Maladies Mentales (Paris, 1965). Mr. Bastide did research for UNESCO on race relations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1951-52, and, more recently, on African students in France.

Andre Beteille, born in 1934 in Chandannagore, India, is a Reader in Sociology at the University of Delhi. He has published Caste, Class and power: Changing Patterns of Stratification in a Tanjore Village (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1965) and numerous articles in scholarly journals.

Eustace Ricardo Braithwaite, born in 1912 in Guyana, South America, is Ambassador and permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations. His novels include To Sir, With Love (1959); A Kind of Homecoming (1961); Paid Servant (1962); and A Choice of Straws (1967). In 1962 he received the Anisfield-Wolf Literary Award for To Sir, With Love.

Leon Carl Brown, born in 1928 in Mayfield, Kentucky, is Associate Professor of Oriental Studies at Princeton University. The editor of State and Society in Independent North Africa (Washington, D.C., 1966), he was co-author of Tunisia: The Politics of Modernization (New York, 1964). Mr. Brown served with the U.S. Foreign Service in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1954-55, and in Khartoum, Sudan, from 1956 to 1958.

Florestan Fernandes, born in 1920 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is professor of Sociology at the University of Sao Paulo. His many publications include Mudancas Sociais no Brasil (Sao Paulo, 1960); Folclore e Mudanca Social na Cidade de Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo, 1961); A Sociologia numa Era de Revolucao Social (Sao Paulo, 1963); A Integracao do Negro a Sociedade de Classes (Sao Paulo, 1965); and Educacao e Sociedade no Brasil (Sao Paulo, 1966).

Robert Keweku Atta Gardner, born in 1914 in Kaumasi, Ghana is Executive Secretary of the economic Commission for Africa. Mr. Gardiner was Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Operations in the Congo in 1962-63, and in 1961 was appointed Director of the Public Administration of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Kenneth J. Gergen, born in 1934 in Rochester, New York, is Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at Harvard University. Mr. Gergen has three books in press: The Self in Social Interaction, Vol. 1; Personality and Social Interaction; and The Study of Policy Formation. He has published some thirty studies in psychology in scholarly journals.

Harold R. Isaacs, born in 1910, is Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Isaacs was associate editor and correspondent for Newsweek from 1943 to 1950 with assignments in Washington, New York, China, India, and southeast Asia. His publications include, among many, India’s Ex-Untouchables (New York, 1965); The New World of Negro Americans (New York, 1963); and Scratches on Our Minds, American Images of China and India (New York, 1958).

Colin Legum, born in 1919 in Kestell, orange Free State, South Africa, is Commonwealth Correspondent for the Observer in London. Mr. Legum has edited Africa Handbook (1961, 1966); Lumumumba, My Country (1963); Zambia—Independence and After (1966). He has also published Must We Lose Africa? (1954); Bandung Cairo & Accra (1958); Congo Disaster (1960); A Short Guide to Pan-Africanism (1962); and with Margaret Legum South Africa: Crisis for the West.

C. Eric Lincoln, born in 1924 in Athens, Alabama, is professor of Sociology at Portland State College. Mr. Lincoln’s publications include The Black Muslims in America (Boston, 1961); My Face Is Black (Boston, 1964); and The Negro Pilgrimage in America (New York,, in press). Mr. Lincoln has lectured widely in the United States and abroad and has contributed numerous articles to scholarly journals and magazines.

Kenneth Lindsay Little, born in 1908 in Liverpool, England, is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. he is the author of Negroes in Britain (London, 1947); Race and Society (Paris, 1952); The Mende of Sierra Leone (London, 1951); and West African Urbanization (Cambridge, 1965).

David Lowenthal, born in 1923 in New York City, is Research Associate of the American Geographical Society and Visiting Professor at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Lowenthal has written George Perkins Marsh, Versatile Vermonter (New York, 1958), and The West Indies Federation: Perspectives on a New Nation (New York, 1961); he has also edited Man and Nature (Cambridge, Mass, 1965).

Philip Mason, CIE, OBE, born in 1906, is Director of the Institute of Race Relations in London. As Philip Woodruff, he published The Men Who Ruled India in two volumes: The Founders (London, 1953) and The Guardians (London, 1954). He has also written The Birth of a Dilemma (London, 1958) and Prospero’s Magic (London, 1962).

Julian Pitt-Rivers, born in 1919 in London, is Visiting professor at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes of the University of Paris. Since 1957 he has taught at the University of Chicago. Mr. Pitt-Rivers has published The People of the Sierra (London, 1954) and as editor Mediterranean Countrymen (The Hague, 1964). In preparation or in press are Social and Cultural Change in the Highlands of Chiapas and Race Relations in Latin America.

Francois H. M. Raveau, born in 1928 in Saintes (Charente Maritime), France, is Assistant Director of the Centre de Psychiatrie Sociale of the Ecole Pratique des Hauets Etudes at the Sorbonne. Dr. Raveau, a neuropsychistrist, is also a professor in the Faculty of Medicine of Paris. His publications include Contribution sur le plan neuro-psychiatrique a la pathologie post-concentrationnaire (Paris, 1962); Pathologie mentale et adaptation chez les Africains (Paris, 1962); Pathologie mentale et adapation chez les Africains (Paris, 19650; and numerous articles in medical and sociological journals.

Edward Shils, born in 1911, is professor of Sociology and Social Thought at the University of Chicago and a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge University. His books include The Present State of American Sociology and The Intellectual Between Tradition and Modernity. he is also editor of Minerva, a quarterly review of the relations of science, learning, and policy.

Hiroshi Wagatsuma, born in 1927 in Tokyo, Japan, was Assistant Research Psychogist at the Institute of Human Development at the University of California at Berkeley from 1962 to 1966. His writing in Japanese include Psychology of Human Nature (with Otoya Miyagi, Ichiro Yasuda, Yoshio Nagumo); National Character–The Europeans, the Americans, and the Japanese (with Takao Sofue); For the Understanding of Love–Psychological Analysis of Marital Life; and Social Psychology of the Self. Mr. Wagatsuma is presently writing with George DeVos Japan’s Invisible Race: Cultural Psychology of the Caste System.

Note in Dr. Robert E. Hood’s Bibliography the  frequent use of the Spring 1967 issue of Daedalus, an issue that deal entirely with “Color and Race.”



Robert E. Hood (1936-1994) was professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Center for African-American Studies at Adelphi University, Garden City New York and author also of Must God Remain Greek? Afro Cultures and God Talk (Fortress Press 1990).  Hood died at his home in Forest Hills, Queens, on August 9, 1994, at age 58. Cause was complications after an unspecified illness.


Home  Turner-Cone Theology

Related files: Begrimed and Black    Daedalus Contents