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Race

The term race first appeared in the English language in 1508 to refer to a category or class of persons, without reference to anything biological. It was only in the late 18th century that the word race was invested with a physical connotation, and only in the early 19th century that specific theories of racial types began to emerge, most notably about populations outside Europe. Many of the ideas associated with genetics and racial differentiation during this period were founded on pseudoscientific theories that are now discredited. But at the end of the century, eugenicists and social Darwinists were offering scientific justifications for genocide and imperialism through which Europeans projected many of their darkest impulses onto Africans.

In monographs, articles, and textbooks, the term race is ...

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