" Explain the obsession amongst European settlers in sub-Saharan Africa with 'black' and 'yellow' perils".
ISSUES OF MISCEGENATION AND RACIAL PURITY: There was a general outrage at the concept of mixed race relations within colonial Europe, especially within Britain, who did not take the same line on the subject of assimilation as their French and especially Portuguese counterparts. Although mixed relationships between white males and coloured females were tolerated, similar such relationships concerning white women were not, as this raised imperial issues of race theory and Darwinistic eugenics.
A prime example of this was the reaction to the engagement of the son of the recently subjugated leader of the Ndebele to a Miss Kitty Jewell, an English woman. Indeed, "The proposed marriage seems to have been a trigger for a spate of articles raising, overtly now, the thorny issue of miscegenation". The controversy surrounding this inter-racial union was accentuated by the fact that not only did this take place in England itself, but also the fact that the African in question had been an exhibit at the 'Savage South Africa' exposition.
This accentuated the fears that formed the basis for the paranoia concerning 'yellow' and especially 'black' perils in imperial Africa, and also enhanced worries concerning racial degeneration. The result of this and one or two other isolated incidents, was that women were forbidden to attend the majority of any subsequent exhibitions, if not nationally, then certainly in the London area.
The appearance of scientific racism in the second half of the nineteenth century, the basis for which was social Darwinism and anatomical measurement, enabled white colonists to justify their belief in their own racial superiority. Once this superiority had been established, the idea of maintaining this level of evolutionary advancement through the avoidance of sexual contact with other races...