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Explore the Constellation

Scientific Racism



Scientific theories of racial inferiority were well entrenched by the time Dr. Cobb began his career in the 1930s. Since the early 1800s, physicians, naturalists, and progenitors of the field of physical anthropology had debated the origin of humans and racial hierarchies. This book written by Dr. J. H. Van Evrie, published in 1868, intended to demonstrate “that the so-called slavery of the South was the Negro’s normal or natural condition.” Van Evrie cites phrenology, physical anthropology, comparative anatomy, and biological determinism in support of his argument that enslaved Black people were absolutely dependent on their white masters. This book is one example of the prolific theories and studies claimed to scientifically establish racial differences and natural hierarchy that developed over decades.