There is a very good book called "One Blood" which demonstrates both biblically and scientifically that there is only one race, the human race. It is by Ken Ham of [www.answersingenesis.org.
There is no biblical support for the concept that Ham became black. According to Genesis, the curse fell on Canaan, Ham's son, not on Ham.
I did some research in Alfred Edersheim's "Bible History, Old Testament," and learned a number of things. He quotes Luther, "Ham would not have mocked his father when overcome with wine, if he had not long before cast from his soul that reverence, which, according to God's command, children should cherish their parents." As judgment Ham suffered from his son, Canaan, as Noah sufered from Ham. The character of each of the son's of Noah is further expressed in the relationship between Israel and Canaan throughout ancient history. In the bible, names always have meaning. Shem means glory, Ham means burning heat and Japheth - enlargement. Some historians believe Canaan is the father of the ancient (not the modern) Egyptians.
The practice of slavery in ancient Israel was either due to economic need and temporary, or allowed for captives of war, and the law protected the rights of slaves.
Slaves who were followers of Jesus were urged to gain their freedom if possible, but if not, to remember that they were free in the Lord, and to serve wholeheartedly and not merely when the boss was watching, to not bring disrepute to the name of their true master. Christian slave-owners were reminded that they were bought with a price and were slaves of the Lord, and so to treat their slaves kindly, and those with masters that were spiritual brethren were urged to not take advantage of them. Slavery is not praised or validated, it is dealt with because it was a fact of life at that time.
Of course anyone can take a scripture and twist it to mean whatever they wish.
Rick, I am surprised that you are unaware of the huge online availability of all sorts of easily searched bibles and study materials. For people who are short on time, I recommend Max Maclean's dramatized (excellent!) audio bible (you can listen to excerpts free at [www.bible.gateway.com
]). I think if you listen to 15 minutes a day while driving you can go through the entire bible in a few months.
If anyone is interested, I might have more "Ham" in my archives somewhere.