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The Conservation of Races

W. E. B. Du Bois

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Bushman. In measurement of heads, again, men vary; from the broad-headed Tartar to the medium-headed European and the narrow-headed Hottentot; or, again in language, from the highly-inflected Roman tongue to the monosyllabic Chinese. All these physical characteristics are patent enough, and if they agreed with each other it would be very easy to classify mankind. Unfortunately for scientists, however, these criteria of race are most exasperatingly intermingled. Color does not agree with texture of hair, for many of the dark races have straight hair; nor does color agree with the breadth of the head, for the yellow Tartar has a broader head than the German; nor, again, has the science of language as yet succeeded in clearing up the relative authority of these various and contradictory criteria. The final word of science, so far, is that we have at least two, perhaps three, great families of human beings—the whites and Negroes, possibly the yellow race. That other rac. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Because his anthropology was so spotty and outdated, the majority of the book seemed not worth reading. I read the first few chapters, but the best of the book is in the introduction and conclusion, and perhaps his musings on the "negro situation" in America. His introduction gives a good look at hi

This is a challenging article. Lots to chew on here.

dubois was corny af!!!! prostitutes marching straight towards hell? black laziness? shut the fuck up man. he proposes some interesting things but like oh my god enough

WEB DuBois shows us how important it is to work within on our bias as we work towards a more just world.

Black folks have something valuable to contribute to our global society.

Strong message here. My only reservation was that Mr. DuBois claims that the Magyars are Slavs. They are not, they area Magyars or Hungarians.

I liked the ideas in this, but it was only a very short paper.