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Jordan's Anti-Black Racism

Image from Jordan's Textbook showing three skeletal jaws of different sizes. The caption of the image reads: "Upper teeth of man and orang-utan: At left, of a Caucasian, at right, of a grown orang-utan. The condition in the negro is between that in the orang-utan and that in the Caucasian. (After Wiedersheim)"

Alongside his eugenic beliefs, David Starr Jordan promoted scientific racism and a belief in racial hierarchies — with white races on top and Black people at the bottom.

In many of Jordan's published textbooks, he portrayed Black people as evolutionary closer to apes than to other humans: "blue gum Negroes, blue gum apes," he wrote in one. Jordan used racist diagrams, such as the one to, below, to further his racial hierarchy.

Because of his belief in the racial inferiority of Black people, Jordan questioned Black suffrage and citizenship. In his popular Heredity of Richard Roe, he described Black suffrage as an evil, arguing that Black Americans lacked the "foundation of intelligence" to be good citizens. Because of this, Jordan worried that Black populations negatively impacted the overall state of the United States. 


Jordan regularly gave talks on the "Negro Problem." One solution he offered to this so-called problem was the interbreeding of certain white and Black races, since under Jordan's system of race science, Black people could be improved first and foremost through the introduction of white blood.



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