Free

Human Zoos: America's Forgotten History of Scientific Racism

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Shelter-In-Place Virtual Film Series

View Map

Event description

Description

Shelter-In-Place Virtual Film Series joins with the Arkansas Peace and Justice Memorial Movement (APJMM) and the Pulaski County chapter of Coming To The Table to host the BLACK FILMS MATTER SERIES, a curated film series to help Americans educate themselves on the historical origins of the current uprisings and protests for racial equity.

FILM #7: Human Zoos--America's Forgotten History of Scientific Racism

In September 1906, nearly a quarter of a million people flocked to the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Many came for a startling new exhibit in the Zoo’s Monkey House. But it wasn’t a monkey they came to see. It was a man. His name was Ota Benga. A pygmy from the African Congo, Ota Benga was exhibited in a cage along with monkeys.

Benga was not alone. He was one of literally thousands of indigenous peoples who were put on public display throughout America in the early twentieth century. Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes and as examples of the “lower” stages of human evolution, these native peoples were harassed, demeaned, and jeered at. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific community, and it was promoted uncritically by America’s leading newspapers.

Human Zoos tells the horrifying story of this effort to dehumanize entire classes of people in the name of science. It will also tell the story of the courageous African-American ministers in New York City who tried to stop what was going on. Finally, the documentary will expose how some organizations are still trying to cover up their involvement in what happened and re-write the past.

The documentary features interviews with a number of experts, including Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Pamela Newkirk, author of "Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga."

This will be available on the OVEE platform. The URL to enter the screening is: https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/9ruf9
Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Shelter-In-Place Virtual Film Series

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved