The Equality of the Human Races

The Equality of the Human Races

University of Illinois Press
2002 (First published in 1885)
536 pages
5.5 x 8 in.
6 black & white photographs, 12 tables
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07102-7

Anténor Firmin (1850-1911)

Translated from the French by:

Asselin Charles

Introduction by:

Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
Rhode Island College

Positivist Anthropology

This is the first paperback edition of the only English-language translation of the Haitian scholar Anténor Firmin’s The Equality of the Human Races (De l’Égalité des Races Humaines), a foundational text in critical anthropology first published in 1885 when anthropology was just emerging as a specialized field of study.

Marginalized for its “radical” position that the human races were equal, Firmin’s lucid and persuasive treatise was decades ahead of its time. Arguing that the equality of the races could be demonstrated through a positivist scientific approach, Firmin challenged racist writings and the dominant views of the day.

Translated by Asselin Charles and framed by Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban’s substantial introduction, this rediscovered text is an important contribution to contemporary scholarship in anthropology, pan-African studies, and colonial and postcolonial studies.

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