1 Pp. 46–47.
2 Gates, Figures in Black, xx.
3 Gilroy, The Black Atlantic, 2.
4 By contrast, early white settlers in the New World did claim that space as their
5 As I later argue, Je√erson’s veil is most likely the inspiration for W. E. B. Du
Bois’s famous formulation in Souls of Black Folk.
6 Most postcolonial and poststructural theorists only refer to Hegel’s master/slave
dialectic when examining his analysis of slavery. I would argue that it is abso-
lutely crucial to note the vastly di√erent conclusions at which Hegel arrives
when he analyzes the slave as an abstraction and when he is writing specifically
on Black Africans.
7 The first Africans arrived in the New World only a few months after the first
1. the european and american invention
of the black other
1 Or, more specifically, only the European was considered an actual ‘‘man’’ in
terms of subjectivity.
2 It is odd to speak of an American colonialism alongside Enlightenment Europe
because it confuses the fact that the United States was itself ‘‘postcolonial.’’
Recognizing this, I nonetheless want to underscore the close relationship and
mind-set between European colonialists and these former American colonial-
ists. Both were moving across the North American continent to claim lands and
raw materials, and both were deeply engaged in capturing and exporting Afri-
can slaves. Europeans and Americans shared a general sentiment of superiority,
both intellectual and moral, over nonwhite peoples.
3 While many scholars tend to reference Hegel’s theory of the master/slave dialec-
tic to examine his views on the Negro and the slave trade, his reading of the
‘‘abstract’’ slave and the Black slave are radically di√erent. In the former, Hegel