Methodology and Data Collection for Historical Stud

Since this study is based on a historic event, the data collected in the study would be mostly derived from secondary sources, which are mainly published resources. Even so, biblical accounts and verses are treated as primary sources of data, because they can be interpreted to mean several messages. However, any biblical interpretation is treated as secondary data. After collecting this data, the study will use a systematic literature review methodology to analyse the data.


The publications used in this study were derived from various online libraries majorly, Google Scholar, Jstor and Research Gate. The researcher searched the term “The Curse of Noah and Slavery,” the results gave 57 publications on the same. However, these not all these publications met the criteria needed for this study. The study specifically used peer-reviewed articles, meaning that these publications have been subjected to various reviews and criticisms, which enhances their validity and authenticity. The authenticity and validity of a study are majorly dependent on the resources used, and therefore the researcher ought to use validated reports. When these filters were applied to the results, only 22 publications qualified through. These 24 publications, were categorised into three themes that summarised what they were talking about; these are, “Ham’s Mistake,” “Ham’s Curse and Black Slavery” and “The Current Interpretation of Ham’s Curse.” Ham’s Mistake

In a normal circumstance, any biblical verse can be subjected to various explanations; most of these explanations assume that Ham did something to his father more than just looking at it as stipulated in the Bible. Most scholars argue that looking alone is not enough to give someone such grave punishments. Among the sexual illegalities of Mesopotamia as inscribed in a first-millennium BCE collection of Omen referred to as Summa Alu. In the publication it is written if a man continuously gazes at his woman’s vagina, they will have good health, and will lay his hands on what they desire. The doctrine also adds that if a man is with a woman while facing each other, she would occasionally stare at his penis. Guinan who published these omens retains that in these doctrines the act of seeing is perceived to be an act of taking. Real power is deployed by people who look at the other. To be subjected to one’s look renders the victim vulnerable and exposed, which could imply that this could be a break of the boundary. Such an expression undermines one’s dignity and control. So far, this material has not been applied in explaining the Ham’s incident with his father. However, if one is to use Guinan’s interpretation of the text is right, then it can help to define the grievous nature of the acts of Ham, and why he was punished to slavery. If at any point looking at another person’s gonads will give the perpetrator mastery and control, then the respective biblical punishment for such action could lead a loss of one’s control also, which in this case is servitude. Whether Guinan’s explanations are right or wrong, the omens explicitly indicate the power of the act of staring at another person’s gonads in the Mesopotamian era; this explanation can lay the necessary framework of explaining the at least one feature of the biblical account, and that involves around what Ham did to his father.

The translations given by rabbi doctrines imply Ham’s offense to his father as sodomy or castration. The scene of Noah lying naked is a sexual crime, and the Hebrew mien raerwah implies a sexual act as stated in Leviticus 20:17. Besides the name Ham also suggests a sexual act, since the basis of the sound mm and yhm in Hebrew implies to a sense of sexual heat, as per the Hebrew biblical version (Isa 57:5). The Hebrew biblical account translated directed states that Noah’s younger son (Ham) had done to him. Since there is no mention of any act in the English version, then whatever Ham had done to his father was a verb interpreting the phrase “he ’asahed Noah,” this implies ‘to press’ in Hebrew language and related languages with a definite sexual meaning.

Ham’s Curse and Black Slavery

After Noah’s son Ham had sinfully looked at his father, Noah punished him by cursing Ham’s son Canaan with slavery. Steinberg wrote that the black skin was part of the curse; this curse has come to be known as the ‘Curse of Ham.’ This idea led to a notion that blackness and servitude were inevitably joined and that the Bible, therefore, condemned blacks to eternal servitude. However in a real sense, the bible does not specifically say anything about race, or skin colour in Noah’s story, but this concept was somehow interdicted intro the biblical interpretation of this story. Among the reasons that the concept of race was interwoven in the story was because Ham was described to be darker than his brothers. The outline of the black skin colour into the story of Noah’s curse has a long history that cannot be unveiled. Although according to the bible the curse involved servitude. The connection of Noah’s curse and skin colour, has significant effects, as it has been used severally to justify slavery for several centuries.

In 1848, John G. Fee stated who was a self-proclaimed anti-slavery advocate retorted that Ham was made black because of the curse of Noah and explicitly stated that the effects of the curse were, “God designed the Negros to be slaves.” The same notion has been carried forward into the 21st century. Baldwin (a black American) stated that according to various Christians, he was a descendant of Ham who carried Noah’s curse and was therefore destined to be a slave, even before he was born. Walker added that the roots of White supremacy in Christianity is based on the concept of the curse of Ham, which has theologically justified slavery and segregation.

According to the biblical account of the Ham, he had four sons, and one of them was Kush; a name that has been largely associated with the region around the Southern part of Egypt as stated in Ezekiel (29:10). The same sentiments are also aired out by Jeremiah (13;23), who stated that “Can the Kushite change his skin?” The skin that Jeremiah referred to is darker, which has been synonymously associated with the African race. Besides, using the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, where the phrase Kush is synonymous to Ethiopia, a classical etymology, which means ‘burnt face,’ or in other words dark skinned. However, the biggest question has been whether the fact that Kush is thought to be in Africa is a substantial reason to perceive Ham as a black African. What is evident, however, is that Kush was not the only son of Ham, Egypt, Put, and Canaan were also sons of Ham. Besides, it is a general knowledge that the descendants of Kush and their corresponding names inhibited the region around the Southern part of the Arabian peninsula.

Another most compelling reason for assuming Ham’s skin colour lies in the meaning of his name. Ham’s name is understood to mean ‘black’ or ‘brown,’ in Hebrew, which indicates a link between Ham and black Africans. Sloan (a Presbyterian minister) argues that since Ham’s name means Black, there ought to be some peculiarity of Ham’s skin colour that compelled his father to give him a name that summarised his first feature. Another meaning that confirmed the identity of Ham, as a black person; for Hebrews, Ham meant ‘hot’ or was perceived so. For some people ‘hot’ implies the climatic conditions of where Ham’s race can live suitably, which is a climatic feature of Africa.

The curse of Noah and its aftermath interpretations made Christianity look like a religion of slaves and masters. Other biblical curses such as the Mark of Cain plus the curse of Ham made African looked like a cursed race by God, and their social position was at the bottom, and they were meant to be dominated by other races. However, as white masters continuously spread this type of ‘Christianity’ a prevalent self-hatred emerged among the blacks. Lee argues that probably Africans were meant to be mistreated like animals because the deeds of their lineages as stipulated in the curse of Ham and the Mark of Cain. Controversies and queries began to develop in the consciousness of slaves, while other black slaves believed these interpretations and began to appreciate the treatment given to them by their masters, courtesy of the ‘mistakes done by their ancestors.’ After all, the slavers were just enough to provide food and shelter for them in return for labour, yet they were cursed. On the other hand, white slavers began to view themselves as good Samaritans, who are generous and kind enough to help African from the savagery, conflicts, and harsh conditions in their original continent.

The Current Interpretation of Ham’s Curse

The justification of slavery through religion, especially in Christianity is among the most gruesome mistakes that slavery advocates ever did. When the slaves were capable of reading and writing, they were not limited to following the words of the Bible through the interpretation of the slavers. Instead, they were informed by biblical accounts like the Exodus in Egypt, and slave revolutions among other events that led to the end of slavery. Besides, black slaves also embarked on following encouraging parts of the bible such the promises of given by Jesus on the sermon in the mountain.

In the 19th century, various anti-slave advocates became louder and shook various societies that practiced slavery. From 1861 on wards during the civil war, freed slaves, ran to the north and started in black minsters. These black churches with other white institutions helped to empower black slaves and facilitate their escape while helping those who have already managed to free themselves. After the civil war, most blacks moved to the western and northern regions to look for better jobs, and better social treatment. Black churches continued to preach anti-slavery messages and became an important institution that unified African Americans.

However, the Southern states could not accept the reality that the so-called ‘the curse of Ham,’ was being lifted, and therefore they resorted to segregating blacks who were no longer slaves. Most Southern states forced African American to work with meager wages, send their offspring to the worst schools, and could access poor medical services. Even so, the African-Americans living in the Northern states did not enjoy life either, they were faced with economic hardships, racial prejudices, and high crime index; these factors turned a whole neighbourhood of African-Americans into a poverty-infested neighborhood referred to as ‘ghettos.’ According to the law, the African- American community in the USA was liberated from slavery; however from a deep analysis; it was clear that this type of liberty was similar to slavery. Elijah Muhammad founded harsher resentments developed in the 20th century with the formation of the Nation of Islam. This advocacy group preached that Allah who is the creator would punish the slavers/ white population for their crimes of enslaving Africans. However, the group also had dubious claims that could be equated to the believe that Africans were the real descendants of Ham, and therefore bore the curse of Ham, such as believing that the white race were imps who were fashioned by a black scientist referred to as Yakub, and that Allah, has a space bus revolving around the earth, and only waiting to terminate all the white people on the last day. After the judgment day, Allah will establish a paradise in the earth for Africans, and this status would last forever. Most of the leaders of this agency were born at a time when Africans, were being empowered, and whites were very hostile to the freed blacks. It was a time when blacks were lynched, and the Klux Klan was active, and therefore the Nation of Islam aimed to oppose such extremist treatment of the black population, by adopting radical approach if necessary. The preaching of the Nation of Islam was more or less of the slavery advocates. Such groups led by Malcolm X and Martin Luther Jr. were among the groups that advocated for the rights and equality of Africans, or as others would say ‘they helped in lifting the Harm’s curse.’

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