Documentary Channel Online: Racism

Human Zoo – Science’s Dirty Secret – ‘Scientific’ Racism

A hundred years ago, long before television and mass tourism, there was only one way to see the world. Huge fairs were staged in every great city, bringing the world to the public. From Italian gondolas, to African elephants. But it wasn’t just animals and objects that were exhibited. Live human beings were put on display. These were human zoos.

These exhibitions were not meant just as entertainment, they were masterminded by scientists, and designed to demonstrate the superiority of the white race.

The displays often emphasized the cultural differences between Europeans of Western civilization and non-European peoples or other Europeans with a lifestyle deemed primitive. Some of them placed indigenous Africans in a continuum somewhere between the great apes and the White man. Ethnological expositions have since been criticized and ascertained as highly degrading and racist.

One Comment

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