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The world is a diverse place, home to different types of people. Different in the way they talk, live, believe and look. This has differentiated groups of people for as long back as we can trace our world history. The major line of grouping people has however been in the way that people look, their skin color, Black or white. Racism has been an issue that fails to go away world over. In Black folk here and there Professor Drake tried to answer questions on what racism is and tries to explain when racism began.
Racism has affected the African from long time in history, she analyses behaviors and attitudes towards the African people. She begins from Nile Valley which is believed to be one of the origins of civilization and down to slave trade where the African people interacted with the Europeans.
In the Introduction, chapter one and chapter two, Professor St. Clair Drake, Tries to expound on racism and how it has existed among different races and the different form of racism that have existed.
In chapter three Professor St. Clair drake, Gives the history of the black people in the historic time and their earlier contributions to ancient civilization of mankind in Egypt and in Ethiopia during the Iron Age. This was before their interaction with the Europeans.
The preface, chapter one and chapter two all act as a as an introduction to chapter three.
The three sections of the book try to educate the reader more on racism and chapter three begins the story of the history of the black civilization which is the history of the black people.
In the preface Professor Drake gives a whole history of black racism in short form in short form from the early civilization, racism in most communities, contribution of slave trade to racism and the racism against the members of the black society in the new era. This makes the reader to know what to expect from the book or it helps in building the readers expectation towards the book. In this chapter the author tries to distinguish color from racism.
The preface clearly shows the reader that racism is not a new thing. As per the preface there has always existed racism in the past even before the slave trade. Racial segregation has not only been subjected to the blacks only, the Jews have suffered racism for very many years. These chapter clearly states that the early racism was not purely skin color based but was influenced by other factors such as economic, political and religious as is the case with the Jews.
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The preface contributes to acts as a prelude to chapter three in that it introduces the various forms of racism that have been there over time in various communities so that when one begins to learn the history of the black people and the racism they have encountered through time up to the modern day one can follow through and appreciate the history.
Chapter one also called white racism and black experience has several sub - chapter that try to expound more on racism. They include; color prejudice then and now, varieties of racism, changing functions of racism and prejudice, theories of color prejudice among others. This chapter main aim is to educate the reader and define to the reader what racism is and how racism occurs. "... Racial hostilities that might have slowly disappeared were now revitalized because of functional utility, economic interest, racism and color prejudice reinforced each..." Page13. This chapter shows that racism is not just perpetrated on the black community but also in Europe there existed some form of racism that created a class like situation where The Aryans were high in the pecking order and the Jews and the Gypsies were at the bottom of the pecking order. Page 56 " at other times and places people other than blacks have been the targets - the Jews in nineteenth century eastern Europe, for instance, or both Jews and Moors in late medieval Spain..."
Professor Drake also points out modern form of racism that might exist even though the society is very antiracist this was well put in page34 "...racist theory may persist in spite of prevailing antiracist ideology. For example, the rules, regulations, and norms for recruitment of personnel into a voluntary association, a bureaucracy or an educational institution are sometimes set up in a way that they automatically operate to disadvantage of some racial group..."
Chapter one gives a reader the necessary knowledge to understand all forms of racism and how it has evolved over time and also modern forms of racism in the new society.
Chapter two is named Bibliographic Essay, just as a bibliographic essay is meant to be, chapter two introduces the reader to the topic which is the history of the black to today, this chapter has such aspects as the nature of prejudice and how racism has been perpetrated over time. It gives an account of how over time racism has grown and evolved and causes for the practice of this vice and its effect on the society. It introduces chapter three introducing the history of the blacks to Egypt and Ethiopia.
This chapter's help in the development and introduction of the chapter three which is called the Nile Valley Antiquity. This chapter now gives the contribution of the black people to early civilization in Egypt and Ethiopia. Page 129 states "... the Nile valley or the ancestral home provides an ideal situation for examining grace relationship in the earliest historic periods of the continent. The vast expanse of North Africa now occupied bt he Sahara, Libyan and Egyptian desert was well watered and grassy up to 2500 BC and was occupied by the negroes and Bushmoid people as well as the Caucasians..."
The first two chapters and the preface lay the ground work for the history of the black people to be unveiled. It helps the reader to be able to appreciate the well detailed history of the black people in the Nile Valley. By the time the reader gets to the second chapter she is well aware of all the theoretical aspects of racism and well prepared for the history of the black people up to the present time.