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Human Zoos: America’s Forgotten History of Scientific Racism

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Human Zoos: America’s Forgotten History of Scientific Racism

Human Zoos tells the shocking story of how thousands of indigenous peoples were put on public display in America in the early decades of the twentieth century.

“A racially charged story that will mesmerize you….” —Oregon Documentary Film Festival.

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Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes, these native peoples were harassed and demeaned. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific community, and it was promoted uncritically by American’s leading newspapers. This award-winning documentary explores the heartbreaking story of what happened, shows how African-American ministers and other people of faith tried to push back, and reveals how some people today are still drawing on Social Darwinism in order to dehumanize others. The film also explores the tragic story of eugenics in America, the effort to breed human beings based on Darwinian principles.

Human Zoos was an official selection of the African World Documentary Film Festival and has won awards for Best Editing (Oregon Documentary Film Festival), Best in Show (Cinema WorldFest Awards) and Awards of Excellence from the Impact Docs Awards and the Hollywood Independent Documentary Awards.

Be sure to check out these other videos about social Darwinism.

The Biology of the Second Reich: Social Darwinism and the Origins of World War 1

Darwin Day in America

The War on Humans

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