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Human Diversity

Essay by   •  March 20, 2013  •  Essay  •  895 Words (4 Pages)  •  781 Views

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The interactive website provided by the American Anthropological Association, contains a multitude of information concerning the issue of race. From the History of Race to Human Variation to the Lived Experience, there is a great amount of information and numerous activities to engage your critical thinking on the issue of race. This website appeals to people of all ages with its stories, short movies and timelines. This website could be viewed by school age children to older adults, all of whom would learn something. The material is appropriate for all audiences, though may be too much to comprehend for a younger child. This resource is an invaluable tool to elementary through college students. Interesting and informative, this website contains a broad range of information about the differences, or lack there of, of human beings.

I posted the following comment on the Race Blog on the Lived Experience section of the site, though it had yet to update while writing this paper. "My mother, a former school librarian, once taught my younger brother and me an invaluable lesson. She placed four apples in front of us: a deep red, shiny apple; a golden yellow apple; a green apple; and an apple that was kind of yellow but still had red on it. My mother asked us to choose which apple we thought would taste the best. I choose the shiny, deep red apple. She then asked us to stay where we were and left the room, only to return with those same four apples; the same, she stated, except the skins were peeled off of them. She then, again, asked us which we thought would taste the best. As they all looked the same, I told her, how could I choose? This was my mom's lesson on skin color to my brother and me. With this simple lesson she taught us that we are all the same on the inside and to treat each other the same way regardless of our skin color."

While reading and interacting on the History of Race site, I was actually saddened as I read of the ignorance of some of our forefathers regarding race. European scientist Carolus Linneaus published a 'human classification system' in 1758. Thomas Jefferson, who the nation attributes many wonderful things, agreed with, ". . . the idea of race married with a biological and social hierarchy" and actually promoted whites as superior to Africans. I was shocked at the ignorance of scientists of the 19th century who thought that different races represented different species. Aren't we all human beings? I believe these theories of racial inferiority were applied to make excuses for the scientists and slave owners who needed to justify their own ignorance. I might add that prominent names that stood out against these beliefs were Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Darwin.

I found the Human Variation section of the website very interesting. On the interactive activity Where do you draw the line I was surprised to see that a human being thought of as 'tall' may actually be 'short' when more people are added to the group. I agree that dividing people by their



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