Race Is A Social Construct by Calvin Eaton | 29 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History (VII)

smiling black boy with American flag in background

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Race Is A Social Construct

What is Racism

Definition: A set of attitudes, behaviors, and social structures that differentiates on race, ethnicity or culture.

  • It is not racist to talk about racism.
  • And it is not racist to talk about racism just because some white people are uncomfortable in conversations about racism. Period.
What is Race?

Race is a social concept; it’s not part of our DNA, we learn it as we grow up. Our mind is race agnostic until society teaches us that not all skin colors are equal.

Back in the 1820–30’s  Philadelphia physician, Samuel Morton collected and measured hundreds of human skulls to confirm that there were differences among the races — in particular, a difference in brain size.

Morton assigned the highest brain capacity to Europeans — with the English highest of all. Second was the Chinese, third was Southeast Asians and Polynesians, fourth was American Indians. The smallest brain capacity was assigned to Africans and Australian aborigines.

In the decades before the American Civil War, Morton’s ideas were used to justify slavery. Also, his belief that Native Americans could not integrate into modern industrial society was central to Andrew Jackson’s policy of Indian Removal.

Modern science has debunked the myth that certain races have more gifted brains than others. However, many people still take that belief as true. Our society is still paying a high price for it.

“The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.”

About 29 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History

29 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History is an annual blog campaign curated by 540WMain that has a mission to promote and share little known facts about Black Americans throughout history every day throughout the month of February. Now in it 3rd year the campaign highlights the life and work of past and present day Black American that are overlooked or underrepresented in our conversations about American history.

540WMain will celebrate its 4 year anniversary with a party and extravaganza on Saturday June 20, 2020. In just four years the organization has become a pillar in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood and a convener and curator of important and vital community conversations, classes, and programs. Your financial support helps us scale up this work in 2020 and beyond with a year long fundraising goal of $40,000

Sources

  1. The Root 
  2. Medium 

Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton aka theglutenfreechef (www.theglutenfreechefblog.com) Calvin Eaton is a community educator, digital content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, inclusion, equity, curriculum writing, and higher education. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain Communiversity a grassroots non-profit community education and event space (www.540westmain.org) with a commitment to enrich the Susan B. Anthony Preservation district as well as connect greater Rochester to the neighborhood through antiracism, arts & culture, and wellness education.

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