The Intelligence of the Negro - Essay Example

James In which he argues with the statements made by Dry. Harlan and others. In this article James argues with Dry. Harvard’s paper, “Race Admixture” which talks about how “the negro race are inferior to intelligence to the white” (189:1). Dry. Harlan starts by pointing out the definition in the Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1884, “.. The premature ossification to the skull, preventing all further development of the brain, an inferiority which is even more marked by their physical differences” (190:6).

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Harlan goes on to quote different editions of the Britannica and how the definition changes through the years. James claims that “no longer Is the Inferiority “more marked than physical differences” and that “of the inferiority, though probable, lacks proof” (191:2). James has Ben around his people and knows that they are not inferior and that Harlan does not need to use books and things to state that Negroes are inferior in intelligence but to “sit up and take notice” (193:1) A doctor does an investigation on the intelligence of races, found that “pure Negroes scored 69. Ere cent high as the whites” (193:2). James argues that “Ferguson was enough for him. He gives us no hint on what the tests were like” (BIBB). James explains that Toasting was a great person and Commander-in-Chief Toasting Louvers was a coachman in Haiti until he was well over forty. About 1790, when about fifty years of age, he Joined the Haitian army as a physician and rose rapidly to command. But Toasting had one passionate aim – the liberation of the black from slavery. (195:3) Owen Dry.

Harlan classifies Toasting, ;he puts him n Class F, the lowest of the superior classes, 1/4. 300″ (1 96:2)_ Toasting was a great and powerful negro and the Doctor still puts him in one of the lowest classes. It does not make sense to James because in his eyes Toasting is a very smart and powerful negro. Toasting, at one point it time, was the leader of San Domingo. The Doctor says “Any educated man, in fact any man with a little commonsense, exercises some sense of historical proportion to these matters” (197:3).

The 1884 Britannica states, “that the negro was obviously Inferior because no full-blood negro has risen to eminence as a scientist, writer, or artist” (197:3). That argument would not have applied then and surely not in today’s world. Harlan also explains that, “we seldom hear of a white traveler meeting with a black chief whom intellectually feels to be the better man” (196:3). In other words Harlan is saying that whenever a white and black man meet, that the black man Immediately feels inferior to the white man.

Which In James point of view is very untrue, “l cannot believe that It Is purely bankruptcy of intellect and Information which explains his proffering this ghastly ineptitude as a proof of negro inferiority’ (197:1 ) As Harlan would have us to believe “the fairer the skin of the man of mixed blood, the more intelligent he is” (197:2). As James says he would have rather written about Toasting, but he thought that it was necessary to reply to Dry. Harvard’s view of the Negroes (198:3). One of James first reasons Is that he believes that the Doctor had good Intentions when writing. More.

Harlan was Just doing his Job, being a scientist as James says, “But Science is he only department of human life where the heart must not lead the mind” (198:4). James goes on to explain his second reasoning on why he wrote about the Doctors paper. He explains that he owes much of his success to white men and that he had more white friends than black, “Looking back on my life I see that on the whole white people have befriended me far more than Negroes have done.. ” (199:1) James says that he is not really offended by the racial part of Harvard’s article but of the educational aspect of it (199:1).