Ideas about Color, Beliefs about Race

When European scientists considered the nature of Africans during the height of the slave trade, they produced analyses that are thoroughly racist by modern standards. In fact, their labors would later contribute to the 19th century's fixation on race in ways that still bedevil modern societies. Ironically, the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome had dealt with ethnic differences in a much more enlightened and tolerant manner.

Renato G. Mazzolini, Professor of the History of Science, University of Trent, Italy, explains the motivations, methods, and meaning of these early physical anthropologists.

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