Eugenics: Human Zoo's & The Origins Of Scientific Racism
Human zoos were 19th and 20th century public exhibits of people - mostly non-Europeans. Negroes, Indigenous people and many others were often caged and displayed in a makeshift ‘natural habitat’. These human displays were very popular and shown at world fairs where they drew Europeans and Americans in their tens of millions - from Paris to Hamburg, London to New York, Moscow to Barcelona. The notion of the human curiosity had a history at least as long as colonialism and Columbus brought indigenous Americans from his voyages in the New World to the Spanish court in 1493.
Human zoos and exhibitions of exotic populations became common in the 1870s in the midst of the New Imperialism period. They could be found in many places including Hamburg, Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Milan, New York, and Warsaw, and hundreds of thousands visited these exhibitions. This documentary explores the resounding effect these zoos and scientific racism has on race relations today.