- Discover essay samples

Black and yellow perils in col

4.9 of 5.0 (94 reviews)

944 words

Black and yellow perils in col page 1
Black and yellow perils in col page 2
Black and yellow perils in col page 3
The above thumbnails are of reduced quality. To view the work in full quality, click download.

Black and yellow perils in col

" Explain the obsession amongst European settlers in sub-Saharan Africa with 'black' and 'yellow' perils".


There was a general outrage at the concept of mixed race relations within colonial Europe, especially within Britain, who did not take the same line on the subject of assimilation as their French and especially Portuguese counterparts. Although mixed relationships between white males and coloured females were tolerated, similar such relationships concerning white women were not, as this raised imperial issues of race theory and Darwinistic eugenics.

A prime example of this was the reaction to the engagement of the son of the recently subjugated leader of the Ndebele to a Miss Kitty Jewell, an English woman. Indeed, "The proposed marriage seems to have been a trigger for a spate of articles raising, overtly now, the thorny issue of miscegenation". The controversy surrounding this inter-racial union was accentuated by the fact that not only did this take place in England itself, but also the fact that the African in question had been an exhibit at the 'Savage South Africa' exposition. This accentuated the fears that formed the basis for the paranoia concerning 'yellow' and especially 'black' perils in imperial Africa, and also enhanced worries concerning racial degeneration. The result of this and one or two other isolated incidents, was that women were forbidden to attend the majority of any subsequent exhibitions, if not nationally, then certainly in the London area.

The appearance of scientific racism in the second half of the nineteenth century, the basis for which was social Darwinism and anatomical measurement, enabled white colonists to justify their belief in their own racial superiority. Once this superiority had been established, the idea of maintaining this level of evolutionary advancement through the avoidance of sexual contact with other races became an all consuming concern." If European women, 'apparently of good birth' were to become tainted by sexual contact with black Africans, the imperial race would not survive" .

In an attempt reduce the possibility of inter-racial relations, and thus protect the purity of the race, exhibitions and dramatic re-enactments were often used within Britain to re-affirm racial boundaries.

" It was considered necessary to bring home to the viewer the inconceivability of a white woman actually entertaining the notion of a romantic liaison with a black man, while paradoxically the reverse was actually anticipated"

In South Africa the Dutch attempted to avoid racial impurity through the passing of the mixed marriage laws, which prevented white women from assimilating black partners or children to the Imperial race. This was partly in response to the fear that black men may try to marry white women in order to improve their social standing, and thus gain the same rights and privileges as the colonists.


Middle class women seen as responsible for the 'ploiferation and strengthening of the breed' were pursuing new opportunities in education and employment, and thus were 'shirking their imperial motherly duties'. With this in mind, 'new' women were often compared unfavourably with black women, (who despite being oppressed by their societies, still fulfilled their maternal and wifely obligations) in an attempt to chastise feminist tendencies within Britain. The issue of motherhood greatly limited female employment opportunities, especially in the colonies, and manifested itself in the form of anti-employment legislation and intentionally inadequate training for women.


In the early years of European Imperial involvement within Africa, the idea of a male white settler having sexual relations with a native woman (this was later to become known as the 'yellow peril') was considered to be perfectly acceptable, even in Britain. In some cases this was sanctioned to the degree that it virtually became part of Imperial policy, and the early stages of empire became a stage for sexual adventurers ( although not to the extent that many publications of the time would have us believe!). Indeed, the colonial Portuguese promoted the ideal of 'lusotropicalism', the Belgian administration accepted widespread concubinage and all the main colonial powers sanctioned Imperial brothels.

Although white women were often accused of destroying this multi-racial nature of empire, the Victorian purity campaigns within British colonies were a precursor to the encouragement of women in a colonial environment. As a rule, white men only brought out their wives once the European nations had reached the height of their colonial power, a policy that was encouraged to cement the established settler colonies. This colonial demand for white women was partially as a result of the realisation that early colonial beliefs that tropical climates could render women infertile were wrong, and partially due to logistical necessity, but was justified with reference to the 'yellow peril'; "The panic in the 1920's over fertility levels, depopulation and labour requirements was articulated around issues of morality".

As Imperial power approached its zenith, and the disparity between the levels of male and female colonial population began to diminish, the concern of white men's susceptibility to seduction by black women took on some significance. This was for a variety of reasons, notably the increased importance of the stable white Imperial family, and the recognition of the fact that with such a huge population disparity between the colonised and their colonisers, the white settlers needed to maintain a certain distance from the blacks to keep their mystique. In addition, the increased presence of colonial wives and single white ...

You are currently seeing 50% of this paper.

You're seeing 944 words of 1888.

Similar essays

The Presidency of Andrew Jackson

Like any hall of fame, its inductees are the best in whatever they do, from baseball or football to something like being President. If you are a member of any hall of fame (including the one for the Presidents), it means that you have done something special or have a certain quality about yourself that makes you worthy to be in a h...

42 reviews
Effects Of The Atomic Bomb

Nuclear / Particle Physics s on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Ever since the dawn of time man has found new ways of killing each other. The most destructive way of killing people known to man would have to be the atomic bomb. The reason why the atomic bomb is so destructive is that when it is detonated, it has more than one effect. The are so great that...

14 reviews
American indian stories

It was approaching dusk as the conspicuous line of dark vans entered the reservation. These vehicles served the purpose of furnishing transportation for about 30 members of a Cleveland area youth group, whose mission was ?to bring good news to the badlands?. In short, the group was ministering to the Indian children of the Pine Ridge Reservat...

103 reviews
On Apartheid

Thesis Statement Outline Apartheid I. South Africa II. Seperateness A. Black B. White C. Colored (Mixed Race) D. Asian III. Segregation A. Housing B. Education C. Employment D. Public Accomodations E. Transportation Notecards 1 "Apartheid, pronounced ah PAHRT hayt or pronounced ah PAHRT hyt, was, from 1948 u...

60 reviews
Inevitability of independence

Many colonists, in the soon to be United States, felt that the English government under which they lived was not fulfilling the needs of its citizens. The poor governing of the British parliament and king left the colonies in a position where seceding from great Britain was the most logical solution. Colonist is a term used loosely in referenc...

64 reviews
Spanish American War

Spanish-American War The weeks that have elapsed since that fatal event of February 15th have been making history in a manner highly creditable to the American government and to our citizenship. Captain Sigsbee, the commander of the Maine, had promptly telegraphed his desire that judgment should be suspended until investigation had...

75 reviews
Lewis And Clark Across Idaho

The Lewis and Clark expedition across the present day United States began May 14, 1804. With the approval of President Jefferson and the U.S. Congress, Lewis and Clark gathered an exploration party of about four dozen men. These men headed off to discover Western America. On September 1, 1805, they arrived at the Bitterroot Mountains, near prese...

80 reviews
Native Americans

American Indian Wars There is perhaps a tendency to view the record of the military in terms of conflict, that may be why the U.S. Army's operational experience in the quarter century following the Civil War became known as the Indian wars. Previous struggles with the Indian, dating back to colonial times, had been limited. There was a period where...

204 reviews
Developments of the modern day

OUTLINE THE MOST IMPORTANT CAUSES OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION. PROVIDE APPROPRIATE EVIDENCE TO ILLUSTRATE THE SCALE OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION IN ADVANCED NATIONS The Great Depression was the largest economical disaster ever to have happened. Unlike World War One, fifteen years earlier, the great depression had an astronomical effect world wide....

109 reviews
Boys in the hood the begining

Hood: slang for neighborhood or black area/life. Before 1991 this concept of hood life was never before portrayed or looked into until John Singleton produced the black social drama Boyz N the Hood. This is the first film by a black director that actually goes deep inside the ghetto or inner city. Singleton carefully directs this film so that...

36 reviews
The Crusades

The 11th century brought good things to the Eastern Mediterranean. There were generally no immense problems to deal with, as everything was in a very tranquil state. The people who lived there went with the flow, but what they did not know is that they would soon be part of a turning point in religious history....

126 reviews
How the Treaty of Versailles Effected Germany

When World War I ended on November 11, 1918, peace talks went on for months due to the Allied leaders wanting to punish the enemy and ?dividing the spoils of war.? A formal agreement to end the war was made and called the Treaty of Versailles. The issue that took the most time were the territorial issues because the empi...

107 reviews
Chinese Inventions

The World is forever in debt to China for its innovations. Ancient China was extreme advance and many of its discoveries are still in use today. This is what Robert Temple, the author of The Genius of China 3000 years of science, discovery and invention. The book is based on 11 main parts of Chinese innovation. Within these 1...

166 reviews
Biblical Prophesy

Subj: Biblical prophesy following the exile of the Hebrews from Babylon Before the Babylonian exile, Biblical prophesy reached its highest point. Prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel changed and molded the scope of Israelite religion. Their writings were intelligent, insightful, well developed, and contained a great s...

207 reviews
Atsisiųsti šį darbą