Black legend  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A black legend is a historiographical phenomenon in which a sustained trend in historical writing of biased reporting and introduction of fabricated, exaggerated and/or decontextualized facts is directed against particular persons, nations or institutions with the intention of creating a distorted and uniquely inhuman image of them while hiding their positive contributions to history. The term was first used by French writer Arthur Lévy in his 1893 work Napoléon Intime, in contrast to the expression "Golden Legend" that had been in circulation around Europe since the publication of a book of that name during the Middle Ages.

Black legends have been perpetrated against many nations and cultures, usually as a result of propaganda and xenophobia. For example, the "The Spanish Black Legend" (Template:Lang-es) is the theory that anti-Spanish political propaganda, whether about Spain, Portugal, the Spanish Empire, the Portuguese Empire or Hispanic America, was sometimes "absorbed and converted into broadly held stereotypes" that assumed that Spain and Portugal were "uniquely evil".

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Black legend" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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