I would like to add that while many early-century religious scholars believed the curse of Ham's son to be slavery, and many others believed the curse to be dark skin, it is noted that Muslim scholars introduced the concept of the curse being both black skin and slavery. Supposedly, Muslims were the ones who orginally promoted the belief that blacks were meant to be slaves. Various records demonstrate how Muslim writers over the centuries dehumanized black people as a means for justifying and institutionalizing the ill-treatment and enslavement of black Africans. Nasir al-Din Tusi, a famous philosopher during the period of Medeival Islam, for example, wrote, "the Negro does not differ from the animal in anything except the fact that his hands have been lifted from the earth...the ape is more capable of being trained than the Negro, and more intelligent." This isn't even as bad as some of the the other writings by Muslims scholars of that time and earlier. I'm just pointing out that this warped view of blacks didn't begin with 19th century white "Christian" Europeans--It had been already been in effect several centuries prior.