Directions: using the materials found under Topic 1A:  Perceptions and Perspectives on Africa, African peoples and African history, answer ALL of the following questions.  Complete a minimum of the required paragraph length, as indicated. 

Note: this assignment, as with all assignments, will be assessed using TurnItIn to monitor potential plagiarism; grammar/spelling/clarity of writing and expression will also be taken into account in the assessment of your grade.

  1. {Full Essay, minimum 5 full paragraphs} The Hamitic Hypothesis is a complex use of pseudo-scientific racism that has invalidated the skills and intelligence of African-descended peoples for 4 centuries.  The origin of this theory comes from distorted interpretations of (innocent) Biblical sources to support 2 racist ideologies:  (a) that African-descended peoples were “destined” for enslavement, supposedly cursed “by God” into a lowly state based on a deliberately corrupted interpretation of a Biblical source, and (b) that African cultures, states and peoples were not responsible for civilizations, cultural, social, political or technical achievements in the continent of Africa, assigning responsibility for African achievements to mythical “Europeans” (or at least non-Africans) for African accomplishments. 
    1. Read the original article by E. Sanders, “The Hamitic Hypothesis,” and summarize in your own words. Focus your overview on Version 2 (“Black Hamites”) and Version 3 (“White Hamites”) – see the full outline discussion that accompanies the original article.
    1. Considering this original article is over 50 years old, why is this example of pseudo-scientific racism so little known, discussed or understood?
    1. How has the Hamitic Hypothesis (particularly Version 3) been applied to our modern perceptions of Africa, African peoples and African history?
  • {Minimum 3 full paragraphs} Perceptions of Africa, African peoples and African history are often based on misinformation or information bias, lack of knowledge, and perceptions generated by ignorance or deliberate strategy. These perceptions are usually perpetrated through popular media (movies, TV, novels, cartoons etc.) and through deliberate misinformation to promote a racist agenda. Examine at least 3 additional examples of deliberate false perceptions and/or stereotypes regarding African and African descended peoples, citing their origins, use and proponents. (You may use contemporary examples, but you must include at least 2 historical examples; you will need to include your citations of outside sources.)
  • {Minimum 3 full paragraphs} Examine the videos available on the links provided. Assess the need to revise outdated – and often racist – perspectives based on contemporary perspectives of Africa, African peoples and African history.  Discuss at least 3 of the videos in detail; include the links to the videos you discuss as your references.

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