Afrophobia is hostility toward people, culture, or ideas of African derivation, particularly those of Sub-Saharan negroid origin. Unlike Anti-Semitism, Afrophobia is primarily a racial, and, to a lesser extent, cultural phenomenon, lacking a strong religious dimension. However, like Anti-Semitism, it has occurred in many societies throughout the world, at varying levels of severity, ranging from personal antipathy and informal discrimination to systematic, legislated oppression.
A degree of Afrophobic self-loathing has on occasion extended to blacks themselves, leading many in the 19th and early 20th centuries to adopt artificially straightened, lye-conditioned coiffures in repudiation of their natural hairstyles. The term "Afrophobia" is sometimes used with this ironic metonymy in mind, using the fear of the Afro as a metaphor for the fear of one's African heritage.
Afrophobia in Europe
Afrophobia, in its modern sense, began as European states expanded into Africa. Europeans solidified their economic and political dominance with new racial theories. Craniometry and phrenology "proved" the superiority of whites, and justified the brutal, exploitative treatment of negroid natives. Even in the late 18th century, it was debated whether blacks were even human.
Afrophobia in the United States
Whereas in Europe, Afrophobia was heavily associated with the colonial era, in the New world, it became a part of the domestic cultural landscape. For the effect of Afrophobia on American history, see Negrophobia.
Afrophobia in South America
Afrophobia in Africa
Africa's colonial past preserved many effects of European Afrophobia. In countries such as Ian Smith's Rhodesia and pre-1990 South Africa, whites held power using aggressive minoritarian tactics. The South African institution of Apartheid was intended to prevent whites (and, nominally, other minorities as well) from being overwhelmed by the encroachment of black culture. Blacks were barred from owning businesses and participating in government, and suffered brutality and subjugation on a daily basis.