The Social Construction of Race

Fun with English etymology: Race scholars’ edition

“Etymologists have a terrible time distinguishing black from white…The Oxford English dictionary feebly admits that: ‘In Middle English it is often doubtful whether blac, blak, blacke, means “black, dark,” or “pale, colourless, wan, livid”.’ Chess would have been a confusing game; but on the plus side, racism must have been impractical” (Forsyth, M. 2011. The Etymologicon: 25).

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