As the Age of Enlightenment began to dominate Europe and the Americas in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, new scientific ideas and theories about race appeared on the scene. These controversial ideas perpetrated the belief that Black people were degenerate, dumb and docile fueling institutional racism.
For example, 18th century French aristocrat and naturalist George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, proposed that the first humans originated from the Caucus Mountains and that after people left the region their skin became darker. Others like 19th century American physician Samuel A. Cartwright believed that Black people are naturally submissive and inclined to subjugation. He also stated that Black people should be whipped and controlled by white masters.
In the latest Atlanta Black Star original, we examine more pseudo-science that has been disproved by real scientific research.