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Blacks in Western Art

The Image of the Black

In the transition from pre-Encounter to Colonialism

The history of almost every nation tells of some great transaction

peculiar to that nation, something which aptly illustrates

the particular characteristics of the people, and proclaims, as we

may say, the part in human nature which that nation was to

explain and render visible.

Carrying on this idea to the history of our system, if the other

worlds around us are peopled with beings not essentially

unlike ourselves, there may be among them many Alexanders,

Caesars, and Napoleons: the ordinary routine of conquest may be

common place enough in many planets; and thus the thing

most worthy to be noticed in the records of our Earth may be its

Commercial Slavery and its Slave Trade; for we may hope,

though the difference be to our shame,

that they have not had these calamities elsewhere.

Arthur Helps. 1856

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