Ms. LaToya Watson
November 6, 2011
Summary of "History of The Idea of Race and Why it Matters"
What social scientists, anthropologists, and others who have done research on the social predicament of race have failed to realize, is that there is no quantity of research that can define the reality of race in today’s society. Race is an aspect of everyday life in today’s society, which has no solutions. It has an impact that has been felt by all races. According to Audrey Smedley: “When five white police man shot a young unarmed African immigrant 41 times in the doorway of his New York apartment, this can’t be explained by examining their genes or biology. Nor can we explain employer preferences for white jobs applicants or discrimination in housing or any other of the social realities of racism by references to human biological differences” (Smedley 1). With all this said it still does not mean that there is no research that can signify any means behind the aspects of race and how race interact. This does not say that the racism that is encountered does not have an effect on the ethical and cultural groups. History plays a great role in the establishment of America. Before more research was accumulated it was thought that race was a result of science but, “With documents dating back to the 19th and 20th century ideas and belief about racist, were non-existent in the 17th century. It was found that a colony of Jamestown Virginia was developed in the 1600’s by Englishmen, who sought after treasure and wealth. With the native people in the area, they forced the Indians into labor, which didn’t work smoothly with them, so they ended up either dying or relocating. Once they disappeared they found a new resource, tobacco, which required hard labor so that’s when the first Africans came into the picture” (Smedley 2). Also as said by Smedley, “False beliefs that slavery started in the 1600’s, was derailed by the fact that when...
Smedley, Audrey. “The History of The Idea of Race and Why it Matters”
(2007) Microsoft Word File.
Professor of Anthropology Emerita
Virginia Commonwealth University
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