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UW Lecture to Examine ‘Negro Question and Hamitic Curse’ Oct. 18

October 15, 2021

The University of Wyoming’s Black Studies Center (UWBSC) will host Farrad Muhammad, an independent scholar, as part of its Let Freedom Ring Lecture Series Monday, Oct. 18.

Muhammad will present “The Negro Question and the Hamitic Curse” at 6 p.m. via Zoom. To view the lecture, go to https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/96918018344.

Muhammad’s research on the Hamitic Curse examines the use of scriptural justifications for the ubiquitous dehumanization of Black people, particularly the atrocities that transpired during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The legend of the Hamitic Curse is provoked by a shameful act perpetrated by Noah’s son Ham who “saw the nakedness of his father.” The story’s original purpose may have been to justify the subjection of the Canaanite people but, during the formation of America, the narrative found acceptance as a justification for the enslavement of Black people, says Fredrick Douglass Dixon, the UWBSC director.

“Mr. Muhammad’s research stands as a glaring reminder of the need to reexamine the fundamental pillars of white superiority and privilege that uphold America’s status quo,” Dixon says.

He says the UWBSC will continue its dedication to the fundamental principles of UW’s diversity, equity and inclusion endeavors by reexamining the “Negro Question” of the first Mohonk Conference of 1890.

“The ‘Negro Question’ asks: ‘What should be done with the presence of the troublesome Negro for maximum exploitation?’ This question is the overarching theme and undergirds the UWBSC’s events for this academic year,” Dixon says.

The next lecture of the Let Freedom Ring Lecture Series will take place Monday, Nov. 15.

For more information, email Dixon at fdixon@uwyo.edu.

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