White cover with a black circle in the middle

The History of White People

by Nell Irvin Painter Author

Race is a relatively modern concept; there was no unified "white" identity until it was invented to justify the enslavement of people from Africa and the Americas. Historian Nell Irvin Painter walks us through the last 2000 years of history and the development of the concept of race, racial identity, and racism. The author takes us through history from the early Greeks & Romans through to the present day. Early European used other (often conquered) Europeans as slaves. Only in the last few hundred years has slavery been linked to race. The Constitution defined citizens as "free white men" so as to exclude indentured whites. Subsequent waves of Irish, Italian, and other immigrants have challenged and expanded 19th century views of 'whiteness'. Painter discusses this topic as it relates to labor, eugenics, gender, beauty, and class, in . Read this to give depth to your understanding of contemporary racism came from and how we can confront it. Contains 70+ black-and-white illustrations/photos.