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Light and Truth: Collected from the Bible and Ancient and Modern History, Containing the Universal History of the Colored and the Indian Race, from the ... of the World to the Present Time (1844)

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"Considered the first Afro-centric history published in the U.S." -Maine State Library "The most widely circulated of the 19th century black publications on ethnology." -The White Image in the Black Mind (2000) "Not just about challenging claims of degeneracy and inferiority in antebellum race science, it was also about the politics of visibility and representation for peo "Considered the first Afro-centric history published in the U.S." -Maine State Library "The most widely circulated of the 19th century black publications on ethnology." -The White Image in the Black Mind (2000) "Not just about challenging claims of degeneracy and inferiority in antebellum race science, it was also about the politics of visibility and representation for people of color in the United States." -Britt Rusert, assistant professor of African American literature and culture, October 2012 Lewis was an ethnologist, and his 1844 book "Light and Truth" was an African American ethnology that denounced notions of white superiority. During Lewis's life, the American school of ethnology held that non-white races were inherently inferior and argued that God created the inferior races at a different point in time than Caucasians. In Light and Truth, Lewis exposes the illegitimacy of these views, and asserted that all of human kind has a common origin. Both an African American and Native American himself, Lewis also emphasized a shared cultural and reproductive history between African and Native Americans. Professor John Ernest of the University of Delaware sees Lewis’ work as “a study in the theological grounds of black nationalism, and an early example of black liberation theology.” Lewis saw it as his mission to search “diligently…in the quest of light, and truth, in ancient, sacred and profane history, translated by English historians…truths that have long been concealed from the sons of Ethiopia.” In his attempt to dispel the “darkness” of ignorance through “the increase of light and knowledge”, Lewis was, in the words of Professor Ernest, attempting to record “the history of the community defined by white oppression without the defining terms of the white oppressors.” The book's introduction states that "we publish this volume of collections from sacred and profane history, with a determination that a correct knowledge of the Colored and Indian people, ancient and modern, may be extended freely, unbiassed by any prejudicial effects from descent or station. In this country, where the former are subjected to the deepest degradation — where every variety of persecution is measured out to this unfortunate race, it is highly expedient that "Light and Truth" should be promulgated, in order that oppressors shall not consider it an indispensable duty to trample upon the weak and defenceless." CONTENTS: I. THE HISTORY OF MAN. II. ANCIENT CITIES AND KINGDOMS. III. ANTIQUITY OF AMERICA. IV. ANCIENT KINGS AND WARS. V. COLORED GENERALS AND SOLDIERs. VI. DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM. VII. THE PRESENT STATE OF JUDAH AND ISRAEL. VIII. THE ARTS AND SCIENCES. IX. MODERN EMINENT COLORED MEN. X. THE GREAT HISTORICAL AGES. XI. THE ANCIENT ARABIANS. XII. HISTORY OF THE PROPHETS. XIII. PERIODS, &C. XIV. ST. DOMINGO OR HAYTI. About the author: Robert Benjamin Lewis (1802 - 1858) was an African and Native American author, best known for writing Light and Truth. He also was an entrepreneur, successfully marketing hair oil and other commodities, and also held three United States patents.


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"Considered the first Afro-centric history published in the U.S." -Maine State Library "The most widely circulated of the 19th century black publications on ethnology." -The White Image in the Black Mind (2000) "Not just about challenging claims of degeneracy and inferiority in antebellum race science, it was also about the politics of visibility and representation for peo "Considered the first Afro-centric history published in the U.S." -Maine State Library "The most widely circulated of the 19th century black publications on ethnology." -The White Image in the Black Mind (2000) "Not just about challenging claims of degeneracy and inferiority in antebellum race science, it was also about the politics of visibility and representation for people of color in the United States." -Britt Rusert, assistant professor of African American literature and culture, October 2012 Lewis was an ethnologist, and his 1844 book "Light and Truth" was an African American ethnology that denounced notions of white superiority. During Lewis's life, the American school of ethnology held that non-white races were inherently inferior and argued that God created the inferior races at a different point in time than Caucasians. In Light and Truth, Lewis exposes the illegitimacy of these views, and asserted that all of human kind has a common origin. Both an African American and Native American himself, Lewis also emphasized a shared cultural and reproductive history between African and Native Americans. Professor John Ernest of the University of Delaware sees Lewis’ work as “a study in the theological grounds of black nationalism, and an early example of black liberation theology.” Lewis saw it as his mission to search “diligently…in the quest of light, and truth, in ancient, sacred and profane history, translated by English historians…truths that have long been concealed from the sons of Ethiopia.” In his attempt to dispel the “darkness” of ignorance through “the increase of light and knowledge”, Lewis was, in the words of Professor Ernest, attempting to record “the history of the community defined by white oppression without the defining terms of the white oppressors.” The book's introduction states that "we publish this volume of collections from sacred and profane history, with a determination that a correct knowledge of the Colored and Indian people, ancient and modern, may be extended freely, unbiassed by any prejudicial effects from descent or station. In this country, where the former are subjected to the deepest degradation — where every variety of persecution is measured out to this unfortunate race, it is highly expedient that "Light and Truth" should be promulgated, in order that oppressors shall not consider it an indispensable duty to trample upon the weak and defenceless." CONTENTS: I. THE HISTORY OF MAN. II. ANCIENT CITIES AND KINGDOMS. III. ANTIQUITY OF AMERICA. IV. ANCIENT KINGS AND WARS. V. COLORED GENERALS AND SOLDIERs. VI. DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM. VII. THE PRESENT STATE OF JUDAH AND ISRAEL. VIII. THE ARTS AND SCIENCES. IX. MODERN EMINENT COLORED MEN. X. THE GREAT HISTORICAL AGES. XI. THE ANCIENT ARABIANS. XII. HISTORY OF THE PROPHETS. XIII. PERIODS, &C. XIV. ST. DOMINGO OR HAYTI. About the author: Robert Benjamin Lewis (1802 - 1858) was an African and Native American author, best known for writing Light and Truth. He also was an entrepreneur, successfully marketing hair oil and other commodities, and also held three United States patents.

31 review for Light and Truth: Collected from the Bible and Ancient and Modern History, Containing the Universal History of the Colored and the Indian Race, from the ... of the World to the Present Time (1844)

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