Ruling the Waves – Episode 5 – ‘The White Man’s Burden’

Udo J. Keppler, "From the Cape to Cairo," Puck Magazine, 10 December 1902. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Udo J. Keppler, “From the Cape to Cairo,” Puck Magazine, 10 December 1902. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Stefan Piotrowski
Against the Current Productions

Historians – filmmakers, too – should always be careful about sweeping all particulars into a grand overarching narrative. Attitudes to race are a case in point. They are always complex, at both an individual and a societal level, but there does seem to be evidence from the historical record that over the course of the nineteenth century there is what we might describe as a hardening of opinions over questions of race.

At just over 10 minutes long, this episode cannot do justice to the complexity of the subject or the tremendous amount of research on the subject. In this introduction, I wanted to raise some points that hadn’t been properly addressed in the film or had only been touched on briefly. For that reason you may want watch it first and then read what I have written below. Continue reading “Ruling the Waves – Episode 5 – ‘The White Man’s Burden’”