Christoph Meiners on the varieties of Negroes (1790)

Christoph Meiners (1747-1810), a renowned philosopher at the University of Göttingen, was an unapologetic defender of slavery as a civilizing tool, even going so far as to endorse interbreeding between plantation owners and their slaves as a way to lift up Africans as a race. Meiners was foremost among scholars who drew broad conclusions based not on their own empirical observation but rather on travel reports, which allowed them to infuse their results with their own biases. The excerpt below shows how far Meiners was from his contemporary Immanuel Kant’s efforts to grapple with contemporary racism. His ideas were later a particularly important influence on Gobineau, the father of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century scientific racism.


Need to figure out excerpt

: Christoph Meiners, “Ueber die Natur der Afrikanischen Neger,” Göttingisches historisches Magazin 6:3 (1790): 387-456.