Archive | July 22, 2014

Andromeda Strain

Here are some pictures of Andromeda, the princess that Perseus rescued from a sea monster and then married. Notice anything about her?

Yes, she’s naked and in chains. I’m sure you noticed that right off. But what else?

She’s white.

What’s wrong with that? Well, Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess. “Ethiopian” comes from a Greek word meaning “burnt face.” In other words, the Greeks knew perfectly well that Ethiopians are black, so the correct colour of the woman whose beauty so stunned Perseus would have been traditionally understood by ancient audiences. Modern depictions have erased a fairly important woman of colour, and a fairly important interracial marriage, from Greek mythology.

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