The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science on 2018-03-16 02:49Z by Steven

The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil

University of Minnesota Press
320 pages
9 b&w photos
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper ISBN: 978-1-5179-0156-1
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-5179-0155-4

Jaime Amparo Alves, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
College of Staten Island of the City University of New York
also: Associate Researcher
Centro de Estudios Afrodiaspóricos of Universidad Icesi/Colombia

An important new ethnographic study of São Paulo’s favelas reveals the widespread use of race-based police repression in Brazil

While Black Lives Matter still resonates in the United States, the movement has also become a potent rallying call worldwide, with harsh police tactics and repressive state policies often breaking racial lines. In The Anti-Black City, Jaime Amparo Alves delves into the dynamics of racial violence in Brazil, where poverty, unemployment, residential segregation, and a biased criminal justice system create urban conditions of racial precarity.

The Anti-Black City provocatively offers race as a vital new lens through which to view violence and marginalization in the supposedly “raceless” São Paulo. Ironically, in a context in which racial ambiguity makes it difficult to identify who is black and who is white, racialized access to opportunities and violent police tactics establish hard racial boundaries through subjugation and death. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research in prisons and neighborhoods on the periphery of this mega-city, Alves documents the brutality of police tactics and the complexity of responses deployed by black residents, including self-help initiatives, public campaigns against police violence, ruthless gangs, and self-policing of communities.

The Anti-Black City reveals the violent and racist ideologies that underlie state fantasies of order and urban peace in modern Brazil. Illustrating how “governing through death” has become the dominant means for managing and controlling ethnic populations in the neoliberal state, Alves shows that these tactics only lead to more marginalization, criminality, and violence. Ultimately, Alves’s work points to a need for a new approach to an intractable problem: how to govern populations and territories historically seen as “ungovernable.”

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: On Our Own Terms
  • 1. Macabre Spatialities
  • 2. “Police, Get off My Back!”
  • 3. The Favela-Prison Pipeline
  • 4. Sticking Up!
  • 5. Bringing Back the Dead
  • Conclusion: Blackpolis
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index
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Beyond Ethnicity: New Politics of Race in Hawaii

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-16 02:47Z by Steven

Beyond Ethnicity: New Politics of Race in Hawaii

University of Hawai’i Press
March 2018
288 pages
1 b&w illustration
Cloth ISBN: 9780824869885

Edited by:

Camilla Fojas, Associate Professor in the Departments of Media Studies and American Studies
University of Virginia

Rudy P. Guevarra, Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University

Nitasha Tamar Sharma, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and African American Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Written by scholars of various disciplines, the essays in this volume dig beneath the veneer of Hawai‘i’s myth as a melting pot paradise to uncover historical and complicated cross-racial dynamics. Race is not the primary paradigm through which Hawai‘i is understood. Instead, ethnic difference is celebrated as a sign of multicultural globalism that designates Hawai‘i as the crossroads of the Pacific. Racial inequality is disruptive to the tourist image of the islands. It ruptures the image of tolerance, diversity, and happiness upon which tourism, business, and so many other vested transnational interests in the islands are based. The contributors of this interdisciplinary volume reconsider Hawai‘i as a model of ethnic and multiracial harmony through the lens of race in their analysis of historical events, group relations and individual experiences, and humor, for instance. Beyond Ethnicity examines the dynamics between race, ethnicity, and indigeneity to challenge the primacy of ethnicity and cultural practices for examining difference in the islands while recognizing the significant role of settler colonialism in the islands. This original and thought-provoking volume reveals what a racial analysis illuminates about the current political configuration of the islands and in so doing, challenges how we conceptualize race on the continent.

Recognizing the ways that Native Hawaiians or Kānaka Maoli are impacted by shifting, violent, and hierarchical colonial structures that include racial inequalities, the editors and contributors explore questions of personhood and citizenship through language, land, labor, and embodiment. By admitting to these tensions and ambivalences, the editors set the pace and tempo of powerfully argued essays that engage with the various ways that Kānaka Maoli and the influx of differentially racialized settlers continue to shift the social, political, and cultural terrains of the Hawaiian Islands over time.

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Learning to Transgress: Law 10.639 and Teacher-Training Classrooms in São Paulo, Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Politics/Public Policy on 2018-02-22 02:01Z by Steven

Learning to Transgress: Law 10.639 and Teacher-Training Classrooms in São Paulo, Brazil

Transforming Anthropology
Volume 24, Issue 1, April 2016
Pages 70–79
DOI: 10.1111/traa.12058

Reighan Gillam, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Southern California

Signed in 2003, Law 10.639 makes teaching Afro-Brazilian history and culture compulsory in primary school lessons. Training programs to educate teachers on this material have proliferated in the state of São Paulo and elsewhere in Brazil. This paper illuminates non-elite Brazilians’ lived, personal engagements with ideas of racial inequality by way of these training programs. Participants in these classrooms did not express direct rejection or acceptance of these ideas but rather relied on personal experiences to negotiate their conceptions of racial identity and racial inequality that deviate from traditional ideas of racial democracy. As Brazil takes further steps to consider race when facilitating access to resources and confronting racial inequality directly, it is imperative that the everyday iterations of this shift are understood.

As part of a series of training sessions1 to instruct teachers on how to integrate Afro-Brazilian history and culture into their curricula, trainer Flávia Gomes2 screened clips from the film Everyone’s Heroes (Heróis de Todo Mundo). This movie features prominent Afro-Brazilians and explains their role in national history. Flávia told the teachers that they could show this movie in their classrooms, or they could integrate the information from the movie into their lessons. Five female educators and I sat at our desks and quietly watched the clips that briefly recounted the lives and accomplishments of figures like Auta da Souza, an Afro-Brazilian writer, and Milton Santos, an Afro-Brazilian geographer. After showing the video, Flávia said a few words: “Violence is to whiten Black heroes. This silences the place of Blackness in the classroom. Machado de Assis, Lima Barreto. There is no way to silence this. (Não da para silenciar).” One of the participants raised her hand; Flávia called on her. She was a principal at an elementary school and participating in these classes to oversee the curricular changes at her school. Before saying anything, she began to sob, taking the entire class by surprise. “I feel so troubled because I didn’t know these people had been left out. I have heard of them but didn’t know they were Black. I liked reading the poems of Auta da Souza, but I always pictured her as White. The lack of information that we have…” Her comments trailed off as she wiped her tears. This response occurred toward the end of class, leaving Flávia with little time to initiate a conversation. Instead, she concluded class by adding a few words about using this video to educate children about the people presented in the movie before dismissing everyone for the day.

This scene played out in a teacher-training program in its first year in Flor do Campo, Brazil, in the state of São Paulo. These teacher-training programs resulted from the passage of Law 10.639, which made Afro-Brazilian history and culture compulsory material for all Brazilian public primary schools. Since its passage, teacher-training programs have proliferated throughout the country to provide teachers with classroom material about Afro-Brazilian history and culture to satisfy the legal mandate of Law 10.639. The teacher-training classrooms in which I participated were dynamic spaces of conversation, interaction, and engagement where Brazilians, like the principal above, could encounter new ways of thinking about race2 that run contrary to the common belief that racism cannot naturally exist in a mixed-race society. This article aims to examine changing understandings of race in Brazil, not as it transforms larger social and political structures, but as it is continuously reframed on the micro-social or everyday level. I argue that the critical practice of learning about and responding to subjugated knowledge and alternative experiences have the potential to transgress boundaries of belonging and recognition of racial difference in Brazil.

This article takes as a point of departure the issue of the personal in an era of changing conceptions of Brazilian race relations. This shift involves not only the macro changes of law and policy but also the personal, lived, everyday interactions of particular people as well. It uses the personal anecdotes, stories, and conversations of Brazilians offered during teacher-training sessions to examine how social change is a personal matter and how it plays out within everyday interactions. The “personal” broadly references the lived experiences of human beings. In several instances, the personal becomes the prism through which people perceive or react to macro-structural events and changing environments. I suggest that many Brazilians offer more personal responses to the shift from racial democracy based on their local and particular experiences as a way to account for the changes they are confronting in classroom education. While I would not say that these conversations were always successful at producing a shared understanding of the ways in which inequality can be tracked along racial lines, these teacher-training classrooms became sites and spaces of struggle over the limits and meanings of racial democracy and racial recognition, informed by the participants’ personal experiences of race that they frequently voiced….

Read the entire article here.

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Ancient DNA sheds light on what happened to the Taino, the native Caribbeans

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2018-02-20 04:22Z by Steven

Ancient DNA sheds light on what happened to the Taino, the native Caribbeans

Ars Technica

Kiona N. Smith

Reconstruction of a Taino village in Cuba. Michal Zalewski

A new DNA study explores where the Taino came from and where they went.

The Caribbean was one of the last parts of the Americas to be settled by humans, although scientists don’t agree on when the first settlers arrived or where they came from. Some argue that people probably arrived from the Amazon Basin, where today’s Arawakan languages developed, while others suggest that the first people to settle the islands came from even farther west, in the Colombian Andes.

“The differences in opinion illustrate the difficulty of tracing population movements based on a patchy archaeological record,” wrote archaeologist Hannes Schroeder of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and his colleagues. Schroeder’s research team has a new study on the genetics of the long-lost Taino people, which gives some clear indications of their origin and where they went after European colonization…

Not vanished after all

The recent work also shows that the vanished people of the Caribbean didn’t actually disappear without a trace. Modern inhabitants of the Caribbean islands mostly have a mixture of African and European ancestry, but some have a little indigenous DNA as well. That’s not entirely surprising; Spanish colonists reportedly married Taino wives, and other records say that Taino and escaped African slaves also intermarried and formed communities. Some people have made an effort to revive Taino culture and identity in the last century and a half or so, but it has never been clear how genetically related modern Caribbean residents are to the presumably vanished tribes…

Read the entire article here.

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Goodbye ‘Racial Democracy’? Brazilian Identity, Official Discourse and the Making of a ‘Black’ Heritage Site in Rio de Janeiro

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2018-02-13 02:07Z by Steven

Goodbye ‘Racial Democracy’? Brazilian Identity, Official Discourse and the Making of a ‘Black’ Heritage Site in Rio de Janeiro

Bulletin of Latin American Research
Special Issue: Reflections on Repression and Resistance: The Vivid Legacies of Dictatorship in Brazil
Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2018
Pages 73–86
DOI: 10.1111/blar.12636

André Cicalo
King’s College London, London, United Kingdom

This article explores the racial thinking in Brazilian governance exposed during the creation of a Circuit of African Heritage in the port area of Rio de Janeiro from 2011 on. The Circuit and the policy discourses that have surrounded its establishment are visibly framed within a philosophy of ethno-racial recognition and multiculturalism, which apparently suggests a rupture from the long-established discourse of mixture and racial democracy in Brazil. Nonetheless, a careful analysis of the creation of the Circuit of African Heritage indicates that policy discourse is not conclusively unsettling the country’s traditional faith in a shared, colour-blind national identity.

Read the entire article in HTML or PDF format.

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Tests of fit of historically-informed models of African American Admixture

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-13 01:49Z by Steven

Tests of fit of historically-informed models of African American Admixture

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 165, Issue 2, February 2018
Pages 211–222
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23343

Jessica M. Gross
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico

African American populations in the U.S. formed primarily by mating between Africans and Europeans over the last 500 years. To date, studies of admixture have focused on either a one-time admixture event or continuous input into the African American population from Europeans only. Our goal is to gain a better understanding of the admixture process by examining models that take into account (a) assortative mating by ancestry in the African American population, (b) continuous input from both Europeans and Africans, and (c) historically informed variation in the rate of African migration over time.

Materials and methods

We used a model-based clustering method to generate distributions of African ancestry in three samples comprised of 147 African Americans from two published sources. We used a log-likelihood method to examine the fit of four models to these distributions and used a log-likelihood ratio test to compare the relative fit of each model.


The mean ancestry estimates for our datasets of 77% African/23% European to 83% African/17% European ancestry are consistent with previous studies. We find admixture models that incorporate continuous gene flow from Europeans fit significantly better than one-time event models, and that a model involving continuous gene flow from Africans and Europeans fits better than one with continuous gene flow from Europeans only for two samples. Importantly, models that involve continuous input from Africans necessitate a higher level of gene flow from Europeans than previously reported.


We demonstrate that models that take into account information about the rate of African migration over the past 500 years fit observed patterns of African ancestry better than alternative models. Our approach will enrich our understanding of the admixture process in extant and past populations.

Read or purchase the article here.

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“Race, It Would Appear, Complicates Things”: An Irish Immigration Story

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2018-02-12 22:14Z by Steven

“Race, It Would Appear, Complicates Things”: An Irish Immigration Story

Travel Journal

Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri is Irish, but when the inevitable “Where do you come from?” is asked, the answer rarely satisfies the inquisitor. Photo by @thediasporadiva.

In this series, we’re highlighting the stories of people who remain connected to their home countries—either those with immigrant parents or those who are immigrants themselves. With “We Are All Immigrants: Stories About the Places We’re From,” you’ll hear from those most acutely affected by changing policies and a shifting reality, those who exist as part of multiple cultures at once. Here, London-based professor and writer Emma Dabiri explores what being an immigrant means to her and to her family.

And although my parents were born and raised in countries not their own, I’m not sure that the term immigrant applies to them in the way it does to me.

I was born in Dublin and have lived in London for almost 20 years—since I finished school—which quite straightforwardly makes me an Irish immigrant. Ostensibly I am Irish, but when the inevitable “Where do you come from?” is asked, that answer, rarely, if ever, satisfies people. Race, it would appear, complicates things…

Read the entire article here.

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One Drop of Blood: The American Misadventure of Race

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2018-01-22 01:44Z by Steven

One Drop of Blood: The American Misadventure of Race

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
544 Pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0374240790

Scott Malcomson

Why has a nation founded upon precepts of freedom and universal humanity continually produced, through its preoccupation with race, a divided and constrained populace? Scott Malcomson’s search for an answer took him across the country—to the Cherokee Nation, an all-black town, and a white supremacist enclave in Oklahoma—back though the tangled red-white-and-black history of America from colonial times onward, and to his own childhood in racially fractured Oakland, California. By not only recounting our shared tragicomedy of race but helping us to own it—even to embrace it—this important book offers us a way at last to move beyond it.

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Who Can Call Themselves Métis?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Canada, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2018-01-03 04:36Z by Steven

Who Can Call Themselves Métis?

The Walrus

Chris Andersen, Dean of the Faculty of Native Studies
University of Alberta

iStock / selimaksan

With the latest census surge in the Métis population, it’s time to start talking about how we define the term

The Métis are an Indigenous people that originated in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century on the northern plains of what is now southern Manitoba. Centred historically in and around Red River (now Winnipeg) and intimately tied to the buffalo-hunting economy, the Métis became a powerful force by the middle of the nineteenth century, pushing back against the Hudson’s Bay Company’s claims to economic monopoly and later leading two armed resistances against the Canadian state. Despite this powerful historic presence and the fact that the 1982 Constitution Act enumerated the Métis, along with First Nations and Inuit, as one of three Aboriginal peoples in Canada, the term has, in recent years, largely fallen into racialized disrepute.

Today, many people understand “Métis” not as an Indigenous nation but as denoting people with a mixture of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestry. The Government of Canada has used the term in this manner in multiple policy contexts. Inconsistent usage of Métis has produced confusing and even contradictory results in the heart of some of Canada’s most powerful institutions, including the census. This has exacerbated an already-confusing state of affairs in the minds of the general public and many policy actors about who the Métis people are and the kinds of relationships with government to which we aspire…

Read the entire article here.

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The Real Race Problem

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2017-12-30 03:42Z by Steven

The Real Race Problem

The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races [Source: The Modernist Journals Project: a joint project of Brown University and University of Tulsa]
Volume 1, Number 2, December 1910
pages 22-25

Franz Boas, Professor of Anthropology
Columbia University, New York, New York

[Professor Franz Boas, who writes the leading article this month, is a member of the Department of Anthropology in Columbia University. The editor of Science reports that the leading scientists of America regard this department of Columbia as the strongest in the country. This gives a peculiar weight to Dr. Boas’ words, which were first delivered at the Second National Negro Conference in May, 1910.]

The essential problem before us is founded on the presence of two entirely distinct human types in the same community, and relates to the best possible correlation of the activities of these two types. On the whole, the answer to this problem has been based on the assumption of the superiority of the one type and the inferiority of the other. The first question to be answered by scientific investigation is, in how far the Negro type may be considered the inferior, the white type as the superior.


The anthropologist recognizes that the Negro and the white represent the two most divergent types of mankind. The differences in color, form of hair, form of face, are known to all of us. Other differences, better known to anthropologists, are those in the proportions of the limbs and of the trunk of the body, and in the size of the brain.

When we consider inferiority and superiority from a general biological point of view, it must be interpreted as meaning that one type is nearer to certain ancestral forms than another. In this sense, the anthropologist must say that in certain respects the Negro resembles the hypothetical ancestral forms of man more than does the European; while in other respects the European shows greater similarity to the supposed ancestral form. Among the Negro race it is particularly the form of the face that reminds us of the ancestral forms of man, while in regard to the proportions of the body, and particularly the length of the limbs, the Negro is more remote from ancestral forms than is the European.

On the whole, the morphological characteristics of the two races show rather a specialized development in different directions than a higher development in the one race as compared with the other.

Ordinarily, however, the question of inferiority and superiority is formulated in a different manner, based essentially on the capacity of mental achievement; and much stress is laid on two points—the lesser size of the brain of the Negro, and the supposed shortness of the period of development of the Negro child.


It is true that the average size of the Negro brain is slightly smaller than the average size of the brain of the white race; but it must be borne in mind that a wide range of brain-forms and brain-sizes occur among the white race, beginning with very small brains and extending to very large ones; that the same is true of the Negro race, and that the difference between the averages of the two races is exceedingly small as compared with the range of variability found in either race. Thus it happens that the brain-weights of the bulk of the Negro race and of the bulk of the white race have the same values, with the sole exception that low brain-weights are slightly more frequent among the Negroes, high brain-weights slightly more frequent among the whites.

Elaborate studies of brains of great men, criminals, and normal individuals have proved that the relation between mental ability and brain-weight is rather remote, and that we are not by any means justified in concluding that the larger brain is always the more efficient tool for mental achievement. There is presumably a slight increase of average ability corresponding to a considerable increase in average brainweight ; but this increase is so slight that in a comparison of the mental ability of the Negro race and of the white race, the difference in size of the brain seems quite insignificant.

The second point of which much has been made is the question of the difference in period of development between the two races. It has been claimed that the Negro child develops favorably, but that its development is arrested at an early date. Unfortunately, these statements are not based on careful examination of facts; and while I am unable to refute these views by bringing forward actual anthropometrical statistics bearing upon the subject, I am also not in a position to sustain them by any reliable evidence. The question is an important one, and should receive serious attention.

But even if the observation had been made, its interpretation would not be an easy one without the most painstaking investigation of the social conditions with which the phenomenon is correlated. We know that in the white race the most favorably situated social groups show the most rapid growth in early childhood and an early completion of development; while the poor, who live under more unfavorable social conditions, show a slow and longcontinued development, which, however, in its entirety, does not equal the amount of physiological development attained by better-situated individuals of the same race. It appears, therefore, that the simple fact of an early completion of development does not by any means prove mental inferiority, because the better-situated element of our white population furnishes a disproportionately large number of capable and efficient individuals, as compared to the less favorably situated groups.

The whole anatomical and physiological comparison of the Negro and of the white race may be summed up in the statement that certain differences between the two races are so fundamental that they seem to form two quite distinct groups of the human species, the characteristics of which, notwithstanding the great variability of each race, do not overlap; while, in regard to other characteristics, the differences are so slight that the difference between the two races is insignificant, as compared to the range of variability exhibited in each race by itself; and that there are hardly any anatomical or physiological traits developed in such manner that we are justified in calling one race anatomically or physiologically higher than the other. The existing differences are differences in kind, not in value. This implies that the biological evidence’ also does not sustain the view, which is so often proposed, that the mental power of the one race is higher than that of the other, although their mental qualities show, presumably, differences analogous to the existing anatomical and physiological differences.


The objection will be raised that the low stage of culture of the African race in many parts of America, as well as in Africa, shows clearly a lack of mental power, because otherwise the Negro race might have developed a civilization similar to that of Europe. In answer to this objection, we must remember that, on the whole, our conception of African conditions is based altogether too much upon the condition of the uneducated descendant of the American Negro slave. Any one who is familiar with ethnological facts will recognize that the conditions under which the American slave population developed is apt to destroy what little culture may have existed. The complete break with the African past; the imposition of labor, in the results of which the slave had no direct interest; the difficulty of assimilating the elements of civilization by which they were surrounded, all tended equally to reduce to a minimum the amount of independent cultural achievement of the group.

On the other hand, the general impression of African conditions is based altogether too much upon our knowledge of the American Negro. It is not sufficiently well known how highly advanced is the industrial and political organization of aboriginal Africa. Villages that have not been ravaged by Mohammedan or European slave hunters, and which have enjoyed a period of peace, are characterized by high industrial development.


Agriculture flourishes; men and women are engaged in pottery making, weaving, blacksmith work, and metal casting; trade between the different villages is well organized ; and in many cases the political organization, owing to the force of character of great men, has led to the establishment of states which cover territories comparable in size only to large sections of our American continent. I think it is not saying too much if I state that among the primitive people of the world, the natives of Central Africa are by far the most advanced, and that the type of their civilization belongs to the same level of culture which was found a few thousand years ago all over the western part of the Old World, including Europe and Western Asia.

If the Africans have not shared in the development which, after many vicissitudes, gradually extended from Egypt and Babylonia over the Mediterranean area, and from there later into Northern Europe, this is due to the fact that Africa occupied a much more remote position in relation to these’ countries, and that the current of civilization was carried with much greater difficulty through the virgin forests and deserts of Africa than along the shores of the Mediterranean and across the forests and meadow lands of Europe.

Thus it may safely be said that there is no anthropological evidence showing inferiority of the Negro race as compared with the white race, although we may assume that differences in mental characteristics of the two races exist.


The question that confronts us is not alone the question of the mental aptitude of the full-blood Negro, but also the question of the ability, vigor, and adaptability of the mulatto. In the course of time, since the Negro has been imported into America, a very large amount of influx of white blood has taken place, which has had the result that in those parts of the country where the Negro does not form a very great majority, full-bloods are presumably quite rare. Owing to the peculiar manner of development of this mulatto population, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to trace the exact amount of white blood and of Negro blood in the mixed races; but even a cursory examination of the prevalent types of the colored population shows clearly that the mixture is very extended.

Here the point has often been raised that the mulatto population is inferior to either pure race, or, to use the popular form of expression, that they inherit all the evil characteristics of both parental races, and none of their good qualities. It is obvious that in this exaggerated form the statement is untrue. As a matter of fact, this theory is generally used only so far as it may suit our purposes; and the statement that a mulatto of exceptional ability and strength of character owes his eminence to the white strain in his blood is seriously made without being felt as a contradiction to this theory. Serious attempts have been made to investigate the social and vital characteristics of the mulatto as compared to the Negro race and to the white race; but here again we must recognize with regret that a sound basis for safe conclusions has not been gained yet. It is very difficult to differentiate clearly between those characteristics of the mulatto that are due to the social conditions under which he lives, and those that are due to hereditary causes. In order to determine the actual conditions with any degree of accuracy, extensive investigations would have to be carried through with this specific object in view.

It seems to my mind that the assumption which is generally made is very unlikely, for it ought to be possible to find, either in history or in biology, parallel cases demonstrating the evil effects of intermixture upon mixed types. It seems to my mind that the whole early history of our domesticated animals indicates that mixture has hardly ever had detrimental effect upon the development of varieties. Practically none of our domesticated animals are descendants of a single species. The probable history of our European cattle will illustrate what presumably happened. In all likelihood cattle were first domesticated in Asia and came to Europe in company with a number of tribes that migrated from the East westward. At tnis period large herds of wild cattle existed in Europe. The herds attracted the wild native bulls, which belonged to a distinct species of cattle, and a gradual mixture of the blood of the domesticated and of the wild cattle took place, which had the effect of modifying the type of the animal that was kept.


In the same way domesticated cattle would from time to time escape and join the wild herds; so that admixture occurred also in the wild species. This gradual modification of the type of both wild and domesticated animals may be observed even at the present time in Siberia and in Central Asia; and a zoological investigation of our domesticated animals has shown that practically in all cases this has been the development of the existing types. It is a peculiarity incident to domestication that intermixture of distinct types is facilitated. Among wild animals mixture of different species is, on the whole, rare; and mixture of distinct varieties of the same species does not ordinarily occur, because each variety has its own local habitat.

If we want to understand analogous conditions in mankind clearly, we must remember that man, in his bodily form and in his physiological functions, is strictly analogous to domesticated animals. Practically everywhere human culture has advanced so far that the anatomical type of man cannot be compared to that of wild animals, but must be considered as analogous to the type of domesticated animals. This condition has brought it about that intermixture of distinct types has always been easy.

The types of man which were originally strictly localized have not remained so, but extended migrations have been the rule ever since very early times; in fact, as far back as our knowledge of prehistoric archaeology carries us. Therefore we find mixtures between distinct types the world over. For our present consideration the mixed types that occur on the borderland of the Negro races seem particularly interesting. I mention among these the Western people of the Polynesian Islands, who are undoubtedly a mixture of negroid types and of another type related to the Malay, a highly gifted people, which, before European contact, had developed a peculiar and interesting culture of their own. More interesting than these are the inhabitants of the southern borderland of the Sahara.


In olden times this was the home of the darkest Negro races; but immediately north of them were found people of much lighter complexion, which, in descent, belong to the group of Mediterranean people. They belong to the same group which developed the ancient Egyptian civilization. For long periods these people have made inroads into the Negro territory south of the Sahara, and have established the empire of the Sudan, whose history we can trace about a thousand years back. In this manner a mixed population has developed in many of these regions which has proved exceedingly capable, which has produced a great many men of great power, and which has succeeded in assimilating a considerable amount of Arab culture.

It is quite remarkable to see how, in some of the more remote parts of this country, where intermixture has been very slight, the pure Negro type dominates and has developed exactly the same type of culture which is found in other regions, where the North African type predominates. The development of culture, and the degree of assimilation of foreign elements, depend, in this whole area, not upon the purity of the race, but upon the stability of political conditions, which during long periods have been characterized by an alternation of peaceful development and of warlike conquest.

The history of East Africa, with its extended migrations of people from north to south, is another case illustrating the infusion of foreign blood into the African race without in any way modifying the cultural conditions of the continent, except so far as the introduction of new inventions is concerned.


I think, therefore, that biological analogy as well as historical evidence do not favor the assumption of any material inferiority of the mulatto. The question, however, deserves a painstaking investigation. The simple facts that Negroes and Europeans live side by side in our country, that the European receives constant large additions from abroad, while the amount of Negro blood receives no additions from outside, must necessarily lead to the result that the relative number of pure Negroes will become less and less in our country. The gradual process of elimination of the full-blooded Negro may be retarded by legislation, but it cannot possibly be avoided.

It seems to my mind that a very serious misunderstanding of the actual conditions of intermixture between Negro and white prevails in many parts of our country. The fear is often expressed that by intermixture between whites and Negroes the whole mass of the white population might be infused with a certain amount of Negro blood. This is not what has actually occurred, but what would result if unions between white women and Negro men were as frequent as unions between Negro men and white women. As a matter of fact, however, the former type of unions—that of the Negro male and of the white female— are exceedingly few in number as compared to the others. It therefore follows that our mulattoes are almost throughout the offspring of Negro mothers and white fathers. Now, we must remember that the total number of children born in the community depends upon the number of mothers, and that the number of children born of the Negro or mulatto women would be approximately the same, no matter whether the fathers are Negroes, mulattoes, or white men. It thus appears that in all cases where mixture between whites and Negroes occurs, as long as this mixture is predominantly a mixture of white fathers and colored mothers, the relative proportion of Negro blood in the following mixed generation becomes less, and that therefore a gradually increasing similarity of the two racial types may develop.

I think we may say with safety that the intensity of racial feeling always depends upon two important causes. The one is the relative number of the two races which come into contact. Where one of the races is overwhelmingly in the majority, and the other race is represented by a few individuals only, intensity of race feeling is generally rather slight; while in all cases where both types are so numerous as to form large social divisions, characterized by habits of their own, and representing a strong economic influence, intense race feelings easily develop. These feelings are strongly emphasized by a second consideration: namely, the amount of difference of type.

This is true, at least, in all countries inhabited by north European, particularly by Teutonic, nations. As long as the general emotional state of our society persists— and there is no reason to assume that our general attitude will change to any appreciable degree within a measurable time —it seems obvious that our race problems will become the less intense, the less the difference in type between the different groups of our people, and the less the isolation of certain social groups. From this point of view, it would seem that one aspect of the solution of the Negro problem lies entirely in the hands of the Negro himself. The less Negro society represents a party with its own aims and its own interest distinct from those of the members of the white race, the more satisfactory will be the relation between the races. On the other hand, it would seem that the inexorable conditions of our life will gradually make toward the disappearance of the most distinctive type of Negro, which will again tend to alleviate the acuteness of race feeling. It may seem like a look into a distant future; but an unbiased examination of conditions as they exist at the present time points to the ultimate result of a levelling of the deep distinctions between the two races and a more and more fruitful co-operation.

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