Race And Its Influence On Social Policy Cultural Studies Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Within the spectrum of racial labels, blacks and whites are the most researched and documented on record. According to Winthrop Jordan in White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812, "it is notorious that race has been defined in a great variety of (usually unfortunate) ways, but it is less widely known," notes Jordan "that race as a scientific concept has undergone a virtual revolution [1] ." Despite the acknowledged progress in the discussion of race, particularly the poles of black and white, it is the stubborn adherence to the "unfortunate" ways in which the black race has been arbitrarily defined that informs the discussion below.

No doubt, the initial voyages from England to West Africa did not carry men with full-blown ideas for enslavement of the African people, but given the stark contrasts-physical, cultural, social, and spiritual-it did not take long, relatively speaking, for the English and its American colonies to imagine a construction positing the features of Europeans and Africans against one another as determinants for superiority and inferiority. Though, as Jordan proposes, the "suddenness of contact" with the differences probably contributed to the quick labeling of West Africans, the lasting effects of the labels can only be attributed to a conception of convenient white racial entitlement for the purposes of financial and social gain [2] .

The discussion also employs F. James Davis's Who is Black? One Nation's Definition to explain the absurdity of the one-drop rule and to show the artificialness of the black racial construct used for centuries for the convenience of white oppression. Not only does the rule not apply to any other group in America except American blacks. The rule is unique in that it is found only in the United States. Conversely, the argument explores intra-racial strife due to color variation. Discrimination within the race, based upon the lasting view among people of African descent of the importance of near-whiteness, is dubbed "colorism" by Angela P. Harris in From Color Line to Color Chart?: Racism and Colorism in the New Century further substantiating that racially created categories, even within the stratum of racial features, have largely been successful due to negative connotations ascribed to certain groups based on genetic features.

Gregory Jay's work, Who Invented White People?, argues that the modern concept of whiteness only exists through the backdrop of blackness, that is, whiteness assumes definition by comparison. Scientific racism was an attempt to construct a biological rather than a cultural difference of race. The term Caucasian served as a flattering synonym for Europeans because the term's association with the Near East and Greece suited white people's desire to see themselves as having originated in the Golden Age of Classical Civilization [3] . But today, no longer defined as European, white America is representative of a new race comprised of various characteristics from European nations suited to the building of a superiority complex. For Jay, whiteness in America-begun in the centuries of European colonialism and imperialism after the Renaissance based on language, religion and location-is a type of blindness, and it is this blindness that keeps racism alive. Ironically, through this sightlessness, white Americans are only able to define themselves by comparison to that which they are not (and, from the point of view of this discussion, to that which does not exist), so whiteness depends on blackness for its very definition [4] .

The use of these characteristics outlined by Jay suggests to the current discussion an addendum which asks not only who invented white people but why they were invented in the first place. The discussion argues that, over the last five centuries, the artificial construct of the black race, using negative connotation, has successfully evolved into a debilitating image of blackness and an elevation of the concept of whiteness suited to the superiority complex.

The diabolical effect of this false racial construct on blacks-and especially black women in America-is undergirded by the arguments of Dvora Yanow in Constructing "Race" and "Ethnicity" in America Category-Making in Public Policy and Administration; Black Bodies, White Bodies: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Late Nineteenth-Century Art, Medicine, and Literature by Sander L. Gilman; and Stephanie Moller's Supporting Poor Single Mothers, Gender & Race in the U.S. Welfare State.

Finally, this argument asserts that while certain obvious genetic aspects of racial differences are indisputable, the deliberate artificial social construction of race as a negative concept, largely initiated by the slave trade and its heirs, has become the bedrock for a destructive social policy in the United States.


The concept of race as a measurement of potential inferiority is a manmade language-based construct specifically conceived for the notion and promotion of entitlement of the white race and the social and economic categorization of people of African descent. According to Winthrop Jordan, author of White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812, while English explorers initially had "no special interest in converting the natives," they made haste to repeatedly seize upon the physical differences as a point of departure, the most obvious and inescapable difference being literal blackness itself [5] . Deeming it "the blackness without," Jordan asserts that "Englishmen actually described Negroes as black-an exaggerated term which in itself suggests that the Negro's complexion had powerful impact upon their perceptions . . . ; the firmest fact about the Negro [in the eyes of the English] was that he was 'black.'" Largely setting aside the inherently neutral denotation of the term itself, taken together with other antithetical features and practices of Africans, "black" was well on its way toward the false assumption of its innate social inferiority [6] .

Manufactured to determine cultural and physical differences such as "superior vs. inferior," "us vs. them," and the "haves vs. the have-nots," the term race, especially as it is applied to Africans and their biological and geographical offspring, became and continues to be an assumptive and divisive label in America as well as other parts of the world shaped by slave trade. Noted scholar, Jordan, indicates that the initial recounts of the early voyages to Africa characterize the Negro as a different type of man in multiple ways: physical, religious, and cultural to name a few [7] . English explorers, however, largely unfamiliar with images of humans other than themselves, labeled the Africans by their first impression of them, skin color. First and foremost to the English, the African was black.

Since the time of the initial forays of the English into West Africa around 1550, countless writings have made use of negative physical and emotional terms to describe the Negro. Indeed, Jordan references the Oxford English Dictionary as ascribing to the very color of blackness connotations of soilage, stain, foulness, malignancy, kinship to death, disastrousness, horror, and evil before the 16th century [8] . The white and black characteristic indications adopted by Elizabethan Englishmen, according to Jordan, where white indicated pureness while black indicated filth are fairly commonplace [9] . William Shakespeare's writings bear this out. He describes whites with such terms such as lilies, roses, perfection, and beauty while the Moor, Othello is described as "an old black ram . . . tupping your [Branbantio's daughter, Desdemona] white ewe," [10] a passage obviously used as negative contrast to Desdemona's whiteness. The African with the "sooty bosom" marries a woman with "whiter skin than snow." [11] 

Jordan further reveals that the English accounted for Negroes with other negative attributes which, consciously or subconsciously, strengthened the budding negative construction of the artificial race that exists today [12] . By all recollections of the English, blacks were a people of heathenism, lack of civilization, Godlessness, incarnation of the devil, inferior clothing and housing, and rare and underdeveloped language. Capsulized, Africans were a people of no morals, culture, and etiquette [13] , an idea that still permeates an appreciable collection of views among twenty-first century inhabitants of America, resulting in the perpetuation of policy toward African Americans.

Simultaneously, during the time of early English descriptions, Africans were debased in parts of what was to become the United States of America. In Maryland and Virginia the embedded ideas of humiliation contributed to the comfort of a relationship that generated slavery and prejudice [14] . Early colonial English settlers differentiated themselves from Negroes by using the term Christian. This distinction was accepted by some and perceived by others as a contrast offering acceptable underlying tones to continue considering the Negroes as heathens and thus blessed to be in America as slaves.

As a related aside to the discussion of the generation of negative labels for blacks, it should be noted that while the English used different terminology for the races that they enslaved, in both cases, the languages strongly suggest superiority over the races. The terms Indian and Negro were both derived from the Hispanic language-one from misguided locals and the other from skin color-and some of the same terms used by the English to describe the Negroes are the same terms used to describe the Indians, suggesting the English obsession with skin color as a determinant for inferiority [15] .

In sum, through works such as Jordan's White Over Black, thoughts about constructions used to compare races and complexes of privileged cultures and non-privileged cultures have come to the fore. As Jordan explains it, the barrier between "we" and "they" is one that is quite visible, permanently shutting out the Negro from what must necessarily be the alternate false construction of a superior race called white [16] .


Arguably, then, if a black artificial construction of an inferior race is to be effective, there must be the antithetical construction of a white race of superiority. As late as the 1960s, Governor Ross Barnett of Mississippi reportedly said that "God had made the black man different in order to punish him, [17] " proof of the lingering pervasive opinion of white over black. Gregory Jay, in Who Invented White People?, addresses the question inherent in his title and conceptually discusses the fact that if an inferior concept of black was created, the only purpose would be to create concepts of color. Thus, it seems safe to say that Americans in the twenty-first century, black and white, find themselves the nervous recipients of racially created categories which have been mainly successful due to perpetuated negative connotations assigned to certain groups based on genetic features. Further, it specifically appears that the concept of a white race has been created to stand apart from blacks. Jay argues that today's white American is a composite of various characteristics from European nations [18] . If this is true, then the result is the making of a new white person gilded over with a veneer of superiority for the purposes of advantage. On the other hand, over the last five centuries, the artificial construct of the black race as opposed to the white, using negative connotation, has successfully evolved into a debilitating image portrayal, and the result of the divisions created along these racial lines presents long-lasting negative consequences to the psyche and behavior of black people. The definition of the term black has many meanings, all of which are dependent upon and defined by their current impact on society [19] .

In Who is Black? One Nation's Definition, F. James Davis notes that in order to be considered black in the United States, not even half of one's ancestry must be African black. This definition reflects the long experience with slavery and later with Jim Crow segregation. In the South it became known as the "one-drop rule [20] ." This absurd definition implied that a single drop of black blood made a person black. Defined by anthropologists as the "hypo-descent rule," it means that racially mixed persons are assigned the status of the subordinate group [21] . Not only does the one-drop rule apply to no other group than American blacks, the rule is unique in that it is found in no other nation in the world except the United States. Davis also calls attention to the "mulatto" and "colored" as significant definitions. Although the root meaning of mulatto in Spanish is hybrid, the term came to mean the offspring of an African Negro and a pure white, including the children of unions between whites and so-called mixed Negroes [22] . Colored, on the other hand, is a more loose construction, referring to nonwhites, especially with Negro blood.

The irony of Davis's and other racial definitions is that many of the nation's so-called black leaders have been of predominantly white ancestry. After the Civil War, all but three of the twenty black congressmen and two black senators in Washington, DC were mulattoes, and some were very light or fair skinned. W. E. B. DuBois (sociology professor), James Augustine Healy (president and second founder of Georgetown University), Walter White (former National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president), and A. Phillip Randolph (editor), to name a few, are instances of mixed-blood blacks who came to prominence either during or after Reconstruction [23] .

Numerous cases have been decided in court regarding the definition of race and its lasting effects on the specified culture. For example, the precedent-setting "separate but equal" case of Plessy vs. Ferguson challenged the Jim Crow statue that required racially segregated seating on trains in interstate commerce in Louisiana [24] . And the Phipps case asked the Louisiana courts to change the classification on a young lady's deceased parent's birth certificate to white so that she and her siblings could be designated as such [25] .

In discussing the effects of racial definitions, it should be noted that the black race in America experiences a period of "passing." While no one knows the exact number of blacks who decided to use their color as advantage, Davis notes that the black experience with passing as white in the United States contrasts with experiences of other ethnic minorities who have features that are clearly non-Caucasoid [26] . He indicates that the concept of passing is relevant only to blacks, consistent with the nation's unique definition of this particular racial group. Passing was social advancements such as jobs did not always reveal the entire picture. For instance, the considerable number of blacks that passed as white while at work lived as black at home. Though passing had it privileges, rarely did it fail to keep blacks grounded in reality.

While the ancestry of American blacks is still predominantly black African, at least one-fifth of it is derived from white populations and a significant portion from American Indians [27] . But significantly, the one-drop rule is now as fully accepted in the black community as a whole as it is in the white community.

Not only has the appearance of whiteness proved advantageous to blacks deciding to pass, physical features that point toward whiteness have proven a kind of advantageousness within the confines of the black race itself. Perhaps partly based on the master's choice of the light-skinned black as the coveted house slave, Americans of African descent have consistently struggled to slough of the psychological contaminant of the little-acknowledged advantage of lighter skin. In her work entitled From Color Line to Color Chart?: Racism and Colorism in the New Century, Angela Harris focuses on the notion that there is not only white privilege in the greater society but there is also light-skinned privilege, and there remains a longstanding battle within black America that indicates racial separation within the same group. While Harris acknowledges physical differences such as skin color, heritage, hair texture, and eye color as building blocks in the usual lexicographic construct of race, she advances her argument through a concept called colorism which addresses discrimination within the black race based on skin color [28] . Conceding that colorism and racism are linked, Harris contends that there is a notable difference. She accepts the definition of racism as the discrimination against individuals based upon their racial identity thorough appearances by means of their color. But this definition leads her to reiterate that light skin and white facial features are more favored than dark skin and the facial features of blacks inside the race. Skin color and other characteristics develop a form of social capital in the pursuit of economic and political success and social status, and in some instances, it is eventually utilized as a resource.

Psychologists studying colorism find that skin tone is not the sole trait of color identifications. Facial features contribute to perceptions of a person's color, as does the texture and style of one's hair, causing colorism to be sometimes more broadly defined as culturally transmitted expectations and assumptions [29] . Harris, however, believes that those expectations and assumptions will be muted in the future. In years to come, most Americans will identify themselves as mixed, with the assumption that race is not a barrier to social mobility and that there is no racism [30] . Additionally, there will be a loss of linkage with select racial groups, specifically African Americans who strongly believe that there is a sense of responsibility to and for other African Americans based on a sense of shared history and common treatment. A greater sense of personal responsibility will be an effect toward differentialist racism [31] .


The artificial construct of race has necessarily expanded into negative images. In addition to enslavement and the subsequent Jim Crow era, images depicting the physical characteristics of blacks as vulgar and animalistic further degraded black people, images which spread from American soil to international grounds. One of the more damaging ways in which the artificial construct of race has traumatized the self-image of blacks is through it depictions of black women, and Sander Gilman examines this violation through the comparison of black and white female body types in Black Bodies, White Bodies: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Late Nineteenth-Century Art, Medicine, and Literature. Gilman's examination of instances where individuals are shown within a work of art publicizes the iconographic nature in which the representation is portrayed. The portrayal implies the creation of some larger class or classes to which the individual is seen to belong.

The sexuality of both the black male and female had become an icon for deviant sexuality by the 19th century [32] . By that time, due to the brisk business of the slave trade, Europeans were familiar with numerous groups of African blacks from which to create categories, artistic and otherwise, the Hottentot representing the essence of the black female. One example of the conventions of human diversity captured in the iconography of the 19th century is the linkage of two seemingly unrelated female images-the Hottentot female and the female prostitute [33] . A painting titled Olympia by Edouard Manet (1862-63) is credited with the first documentation of merging these two women. The model is seen naked rather than conventionally nude and the pose is heavily similar to classical models. The Hottentot represents the black female and the prostitute represents the sexualized woman, suggesting the link between their sexuality [34] .

Early writing portrayed black women as having apelike sexual appetites leading to their copulating with apes, perhaps contributing to the unquenchable thirst of the white master for his chattel female slave and aiding in the ongoing construction of a racial female image that remains until this day [35] . Worth mentioning at this juncture is a rating scale which was created to identify the differences between the races with blacks occupying the extreme position from whites on the scale of humanity.

One of the instances of exploitative sexual stereotyping appears in the writing of J. J. Virey. Virey studied the race standard in the early 19th century and was a contributor to a major essay on racial groups. His views and others on the sexual nature of black females were summarized in acceptable medical discourse. The black woman's voluptuousness is the product of a degree of unknown climates where their sexual organs are more developed than whites [36] . Since the unique structure of the Hottentot female structure looked very different from other women during this time (Mainly her skin color and genitalia labeled her different), he notes that the Hottentot woman was the epitome of the sexual relationship between her physiology and physiognomy [37] .

The 19th century fascination with the buttocks became a displacement for the genitalia. It became the higher standard for beautiful. The buttocks were ranked by race and size of the female pelvis. In regards to the pelvis, studies show that the narrow pelvis became a sign of racial superiority. The exaggerated buttocks became a hidden physical and temperamental hidden sexual sign of the black female. An example of outrageous exploitation of this fascination which fed the negative perception of blackness is the exhibition of 1810 of the Hottentot Venus [38] . Causing a public scandal in London escalated by the issue of the abolition of slavery, Saarjite Baartman, a young Khosian woman from South Africa, was exhibited to the public to show her genitalia as well as her protruding buttocks. Noteworthy here is the fact that the images of sexualized females are all set forth by male observers.

A final example of the establishment of the degraded black female is found the The Babylonian Marriage Market painting portraying the sexualized woman participating in marriage auctions in which maidens were sold in order of comeliness. They were arranged in order of attractiveness. Their features ranged from the most white (emphasized by the light reflected from the mirror onto the figure at the far left) to the most black (thick lips, broad noses and dark but not black skin) [39] .

In the interest of progressive thinking it should be said that, in 1926, Freud begins to discuss the ignorance concerning adult female sexuality. Defining the misguided thinking as the "dark continent of psychology," he intended to reveal the hidden truth about female sexuality. He compares the image of female sexuality to the image of the colonial black [40] . His effort was to explore the hidden truths about female sexuality just as the anthropologists attempted to reveal the truth about the nature of blacks.


Alongside the social construction of racial categories, the United States government has played an active role and, at times, led the efforts for differences. The American government, under the guise of benevolence, has skillfully and surreptitiously used race to segment society and thwart accountability for otherwise able-minded peoples. Despite the strides made in racial enfranchisement during the last five centuries, the targeted group known variously as Negroes, Coloreds, Blacks, and African Americans, resulting from the early unsubstantiated negative construct based on differences in physical features, has become and remains psychologically dependent upon government and its programs for survival.

Initially, the government was required by the United States Constitution to conduct a census. However, instead of conducting this effort for men, women, boys and girls, the census evolved into a counting of people by race. With the impact of race and its social construction as a backdrop, the government expanded its census taking to the business of race identification. Several rules were introduced which allowed citizens to place themselves in certain "boxes" of race. The Federal Government through the Office of Management and Budgets statistical policy Directive # 15 (first enacted in 1977) identified, named, and defined five American racial or ethnic groups. The identified groups for the 1980 census were White, Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaskan native. The 1990 US census allowed for additional variations of the original five groups [41] .

The revised Directive implies the caution that the race-ethnic standards "are to be interpreted as being primarily biological or genetic in reference. Race and ethnicity may be thought of as social and cultural characteristics as well as ancestry." Whether it was Black, White, or Asian, individuals had the opportunity to decide which racial classification they chose to define them. These categories allowed the government to increase its power over racial groups by knowing where people lived. This opportunity expanded the government's societal presence during this time.

Dvora Yanow in Constructing "Race" and "Ethnicity" in America Category-Making in Public Policy and Administration implies that categories are human mental constructs. They are intellectual boundaries imposed on the world in order to help us live in an orderly way. Category making entails classifying a set of items according to qualities the classifier perceives in them as making them belong to one category as opposed to another. Category-making and the classifications of a member of a category set are often everyday activities. Categorizing and classifying often lead to or are undertaken for the purpose of counting, especially in the realms of scientific and state administrative endeavors. In naming things and people, categories assert claims about their identity [42] .

A category and its contents are internally undifferentiated: they constitute a single unit or a whole. When a single category is treated, the similarities of its elements appear more salient than their differences from elements of other categories. Yanow teaches that the basic aspects of category construction and classification entail certain features that are central to category analysis-an interpretive research method intended to gain insight into the logic underlying the construction of a category set [43] .

The socially constructed reality leans toward concepts that have been treated and taught for much of the 20th century as scientific facts. State efforts to name and count populations by race-ethnic identity markers continue to exhibit elements of history. For example, the Irish, Italian, Jewish and other non-Anglo-Saxon were identified as races in the early years but are now indicated under "white [44] ," supporting Jay's theory of the invented white race. Yanow's revelation of this complex method of racial categorization also uncloaks a sinister apparatus available to the government to track its minority population and prevent uprisings against it

Statistical categorization is part and parcel of the growth and expansion of the welfare system in America and is directly tied to the Civil Rights Movement whose mission was to eradicate the barriers of legal injustices commonly known as the Jim Crow laws of the south. One of the key purposes of The March on Washington was to question what America did with its poor citizens, mainly blacks. An examination of the history of social welfare reveals that it was initially for widows. But bowing to the pressure from Civil Rights leaders of the 1960s and 70s (who established feeding, money-generating programs within their churches and communities), an alliance was formed between Washington policy makers and Civil Rights leaders that essentially suggested that to offer blacks these kinds of dependency programs was to satisfy them. Taking into account welfare history from the stance of the queen of England through FDR's New Deal to the onset of the programs of the Civil Rights Movement, it becomes apparent that the American government did not open the doors for blacks out of a sense of innate righteousness. It did not beckon the masses of blacks to get on board these entitlement programs with the intent of making people self-sufficient. Rather, the invitation ameliorated a political problem of the time, while serving the government's consistently-greater purpose to inoculate and mute the vast majority of African Americans and sustain the false idea of an inferior, dependent burden on the white man, to borrow from Rudyard Kipling's The White Man's Burden [45] .

Many Black leaders of the Civil Rights Movement were complicit in fighting for and promoting the expansion of entitlement programs that would over the short term satisfy the people but over the long term devastate the movement for positive change. This carrot dangled in the face of possibility became the intoxication of government sponsorship. This notion was further dressed with the justification that the government had a debt to pay for its sins of racial strife that in most minds could never be repaid.

President Lyndon B. Johnson in a conversation with then NAACP Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins on January 6, 1964 enticed him to support his approach to civil rights legislation by first offering recess judicial appointments of Spottswood Robinson and A. Leon Higginbotham to the United States Circuit Court [46] . This noted conjecture is common in the body of politics. However, these political favors prime the pump for a greater effort of reciprocation. President Johnson goes on to inform Wilkins "I'm going to put $500 million in this budget for poverty and a good deal of it ought to go to your people" [47] . Telling of Johnson's remarks is the absence of human expectation. The willingness to conduct national budgetary policy without the goal of eradicating or improving the problem. Racial interests being the backdrop, Johnson and Wilkins conversation, further supports the argument that the construction and categorization of race has led to over 400 years of bad social policy. One need not look any further than the bias of the welfare system.


Stephanie Moller's Supporting Poor Single Mothers, Gender & Race in the U.S. Welfare State introduces the reader to the differences of the welfare system for blacks and whites. The United States welfare state is exceptional due to its being less comprehensive than most other welfare states since it does not offer universal family support [48] 49. Moller examines the uneven support afforded to black and white mothers at the end of the 20th century. Programs of assistance such as the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) were introduced to provide insight and statistical research. It is argued that race-biased policies were implemented which led to different levels of support for black and white single-mother families.

AFDC was initially designed during the New Deal to allow white widows to stay home and care for their children [50] . Black women were usually denied assistance because social workers defined them as able to work and not deserving of assistance. But by the time of welfare reform, a program such as AFDC was a bottom-tier, state-run program that provided aid to single-parent families with children under 18. Mothers were required to prove their need to qualify, and payments were lowered and stopped when work was acquired by the mother [51] . Feminists assert that applying for aide was divided into two categories. White mothers were classified as mothers, and black mothers were classified as workers.

The support of single-mother families is an important component of the welfare state. Feminists have argued that the minimal levels of support are dependent on race-specific conceptualizations of gender roles. Examinations have revealed how states support different economic outcomes for black and white women. Initial analysis demonstrates that state policies reproduce white privilege [52] .


In conclusion, the social construction of race has become the common denominator for social policy and government dependency in the United States for Africans now born in America. Once the broader knowledge is realized that the United States Government did not create policies such as welfare to give low income citizens of color a pathway to society but became a neutralizing policy that ultimately thwarted their activism, the recommendation for a solution will provide a national call for self-sufficiency.

Ultimately, five major points of discussion are clear as it relates to race in the United States:

1 - The concept of race as a measurement of potential inferiority is a manmade construct specifically conceived for the notion and promotion of entitlement of the white race and social and economic categorization of people of African descent.

2 - Racially created categories have largely been successful due to negative connotations ascribed to certain groups based on genetic features.

3 - Over the last five centuries, the artificial construct, using negative connotation, has successfully evolved into debilitating image portrayal.

4 - The American government, under the guise of benevolence, has skillfully and surreptitiously used race to segment society and thwart accountability for otherwise able-minded peoples.

5 - Despite the strides made in racial enfranchisement during the last five centuries, the targeted group known variously as Negroes, Coloreds, Blacks, and African Americans, resulting from the early unsubstantiated negative construct based on differences in physical features, has become and remains psychologically dependent upon government and its programs for survival.

Dr. Claud Anderson provides insight for where we must now go to counter the negative concepts of race and how to recognize bad social policy. In his book Black Labor, White Wealth: The Search for Power and Economic Justice, Dr. Anderson shares what some would consider to be an inconvenient truth. He uses an old adage "when in Rome do as the Romans do." "Blacks are in America and America is a capitalist nation. Thus, Blacks will have to adopt the American capitalistic approach if they are to build their economic strength [53] ."

The pathway to racial reciprocity and mutual respect in America has always come through economic strength and self-sufficiency. Despite four hundred and sixty years of social, legal and structural obstacles placed in path of African American progress, economic empowerment is the key ingredient to social prosperity. Dr. Anderson cites W.E.B. DuBois having described the concept of capitalism in this way "capitalism is like having three ears of corn: you eat one, you sell one, and you save one for seed for next year's planting [54] ."

W.E.B. DuBois' extraction from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is a simplistic, practical and necessary reconstitution that must occur. While the road to prosperity and human dignity has been a long and often tragic one for African Americans, our grasp of economic endowment will determine our place in American society amid other groups that have also been categorized by "race" and "ethnicity."

Finally, while obvious genetic aspects of racial differences are indisputable, the deliberate artificial social construction of race as a negative concept, largely initiated by the slave trade and its heirs, has led to destructive social policy in the United States. Abraham Lincoln who states that "the success of the American Revolution in no way altered the degraded status of most black Americans. Nor did it free more than one-half million slaves in the colonies. [55] " Therefore the struggle continues.