Only one hundred years ago, many of the world's leading scientists agreed with A. C. Haddon, when he wrote in his 1898 book Study of Man, that, "on the whole, the white race has progressed beyond the black race."
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, scientists were so fascinated by race that thousands of 'exotic' and indigenous people from all over the world were put on display in human zoos. They were not intended as merely entertaining freak shows but also scientific demonstrations of racial difference. Across the western world millions gawped in fascination at these 'uncivilized savages' and would depart convinced of the superiority of the white race.
This documentary explores the phenomenon of human zoos and tells the poignant story of Ota Benga, a Batwa pygmy from the Belgian Congo, who was first put on display at the 1904 St Louis World's Fair and then the Bronx Zoo where he was labeled as the 'missing link'.
As the film reveals, it was only a short step from these human zoos to the horrors of Nazi Germany as pseudo science that underpinned one, helped legitimize the other.
Tags: The, Human, Zoo, Science's, Dirty, Secret, documentary, missing, link, Ota, Benga, Batwa, pygmy, Bronx, uncivilised, savages, A., C., Haddon, Madison, Grant, anthropologist, racist, Nazi, conservation, Study, Man
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