Race and ethnicity


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Illustration detail of Zu Luo, one of China's 24 paragons of filial piety and a disciple of Confucius. Private collection. Photo by Corbis/Getty

Essay/
History of ideas
Western philosophy is racist

Academic philosophy in ‘the West’ ignores and disdains the thought traditions of China, India and Africa. This must change

Bryan W Van Norden

Near Lalibela, in northern Ethiopia, the location of Zera Yacob’s cave. Photo by Raymond Depardon/Magnum

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
The African Enlightenment

The highest ideals of Locke, Hume and Kant were first proposed more than a century earlier by an Ethiopian in a cave

Dag Herbjørnsrud

D Watkins in Baltimore. Photo by Stacey Watkins
Essay/
Biography and memoir
Stoop stories

My black friends call it Murderland. My white friends call it Charm City, a town of trendy cafés. I just call it home

D Watkins

Achilles slaying Penthesilea. Detail from an amphora, 530-525 BCE. Photo courtesy the Trustees of the British Museum

Essay/
The ancient world
Black Achilles

The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh

First-grader Angel Huerta reads a book during a guided reading group. Photo By Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Essay/
Language and linguistics
Talk the talk

A push for English to be the official language of the US has both a dark history and a regressive vision for the future

Eric C Miller

Illustration by Richard Wilkinson

Essay/
Anthropology
No drama, King Obama

In Javanese culture, a ruler must stand chivalrously above strife: cool, intelligent and self-contained. Sound familiar?

Edward L Fox

A young girl walks home beside a security fence enclosing the school in Philadelphia, October 2006. Photo by Mark Stehle/AP/PA

Essay/
Education
The school of failure

The worst public schools do one thing very well – they teach poor black kids how to stay in the American underclass

D Watkins

Photo by Jose Luis Pelaez/Gallery Stock
Essay/
Social psychology
Microaggressions?

Prejudice remains a huge social evil but evidence for harm caused by microaggression is incoherent, unscientific and weak

Scott O Lilienfeld

Famille Métisse (1775) by Marius-Pierre le Masurier. Photo courtesy Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac/RMN
Essay/
Race and ethnicity
On prejudice

An 18th-century creole slaveholder invented the idea of ‘racial prejudice’ to defend diversity among a slaveowning elite

Blake Smith

A  medical worker holds an HIV test kit. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

Essay/
Illness and disease
Southern brew

A second hurricane is battering New Orleans, this time it is an HIV catastrophe whipped up by prejudice and poverty

Jessica Wapner

Mulberry Street, Little Italy, New York, c1900. Photo courtesy Library of Congress
Essay/
Race and ethnicity
How to see race

Race is a shapeshifting adversary: what seems self-evident takes training to see, and twists under political pressure

Gregory Smithsimon

Berber women photographed in January 1932. Photo by Marcelin Flandrin/National Geographic

Essay/
Race and ethnicity
Race on the mind

When Europeans colonised North Africa, they imposed their preoccupation with race onto its diverse peoples and deep past

Ramzi Rouighi

Imposter? Peter O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia in the 1962 film of the same name. Photo by dpa/Corbis
Essay/
Gender
Impostors

Caitlyn Jenner identifies as a woman, Rachel Dolezal as black. Why should one be legitimate and the other condemned?

Katharine Quarmby

Patients hold down a representative of the Chisso Chemical Plant, demanding that he look at them. Minimata, Japan, 1971. Photo by W Eugene Smith/Magnum
Essay/
Ethics
Sorry but not sorry

No longer the hardest word, a public apology is now the defence strategy of the rich and powerful. Can it still do good?

Nick Smith

Children in Burkina Faso; just under one third complete primary school. Photo by William Daniels/Panos
Essay/
Information and communication
The other half

To end inequality, we must realise that it isn’t about the rich, it’s about the poor. And we know almost nothing about them

Claire Melamed

A poster of Kemal Atatürk by the entrance door of a house in Çeşme, Turkey. August 2015. Photo by Alfredo D'Amato/Panos Pictures

Essay/
Nations and empires
Turkey’s hard white turn

In 20th-century Turkey, modernisers turned to eugenics and claims of an ancient Asian past to argue that Turks were white

Murat Ergin