Racial mixture in Great Britain: some anthropological characteristics of the Anglo-negroid cross (A Preliminary Report)

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2011-06-21 04:46Z by Steven

Racial mixture in Great Britain: some anthropological characteristics of the Anglo-negroid cross (A Preliminary Report)

Eugenics Review
Volume 33, Number 4 (January 1942)
pages 112-120

K. L. Little
The Duckworth Laboratory
University Museum of Ethnology, Cambridge

With the exception of a large number of family studies secured by Miss R. M. Fleming, little anthropological attention has so far been given to the question of racial crossing in this country, although the presence of some fairly extensive hybrid communities in most of our sea-port cities affords an excellent opportunity for anthropometric investigation, particularly in respect to the Anglo-Negroid cross. The present paper, comprising a brief statistical analysis of the measurements of some ninety Anglo-Negroid or “Coloured” children, together with a smaller “White ” sample of forty drawn from the same environment, represents what it is hoped may be merely a prelude to a wider and statistically more adequate survey of the subject, especially as far as the adult element is concerned. The present data, including those of a small number of adults with one F1 adult exception, were gained entirely from a community in Cardiff, where all the subjects were born. In the course of the enquiry the opportunity was taken of examining a further sample of some eighty subjects mainly of Anglo-Arab and Anglo-Mediterranean parentage. These, however, have been omitted from the present discussion for considerations of space. The Anglo-Negroid adult sample is as yet too small for statistical treatment, and has similarly been omitted, although a few particulars as to its characters are given below.

Briefly stated, the aspects of racial crossing it is intended to cover comprise such questions as the segregation of both quantitative and qualitative physical characters in the hybrid population, the comparative variability of the respective groups, and comparative differences in growth and sex differences. In the light of these considerations it was decided to. employ as wide an assortment of characters as was practicable, and having regard to the specific racial stocks involved, i.e. Negroid and Caucasoid (White), to give special attention to those features which show clear differentiation between the parent stocks. In terms of the present facilities these may be listed as skin, hair and eye colour, lip thickness, nasal width and height and the corresponding nasal index, and the ratio of nasal depth to width. In addition, a fairly large number of characters possessing genetical rather than racial significance were chosen, and these included such features as head length, head breadth, facial length, etc., etc., from which the relevant cephalic, facial, fronto-jugal and other indices were obtained. Finally, two modifiable characters in the shape of stature and sitting height were included….

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Anthropological Studies of Children

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2011-04-06 21:34Z by Steven

Anthropological Studies of Children

Eugenics Review
Volume 18, Number 4 (January 1927)
pages 294-301

Rachel M. Fleming

Some ten years ago, with the guidance and help of Professor Fleure, of the Department of Geography and Anthropology, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, I began to study race type in women, and from the study of divergent-race characteristics for the sexes there naturally emerged a desire to follow up growth in children, and see how far and in what way racial type affected development, if it affected it at all. For this purpose it seemed essential to follow the course of growth year by year in individuals; there are numerous studies of different batches of children at different ages compared as to various physical characters. This method, however, does not bring out either what actually happens in individual cases, or allow for racial variations. On the other hand the method of following up growth in individual children is a slow and laborious one, and though, for the past eight years, some thousand children have been under continuous observation, the work is still far from complete. Last year, at the suggestion of the Eugenics Society, Professor Fleure and I took some measurements on children of mixed parentage (coloured and white) in various seaport towns. In its initial stages the work had for its main aim to record developmental changes and their correlation, if any, with different race types.As the work has progressed other possibilities have developed-the marked differences in rate of development according to sex led to some conclusions as to the desirability of recognising the sex factor in school curricula, and the Advisory Committee to the board of Education asked for the data. Further, the extensive studies of racial types carried out by Professor Fleure and his students have afforded a basis on which to consider some possibilities of special aptitudes associated with particular race types. In the course of my visits to secondary schools I am often asked by children and their parents for help in deciding on a possible career for a youth or girl who seems “pretty good all round,” “likes nearly everything,” &c., and is obviously as yet not fully developed in knowledge of what will finally be the special bent. No claim is made that special aptitudes must go with particular physical types, or vice versa, but the claim is made that in many cases it is possible to say that to many people of a certain type, a certain side of life appeals, and therefore to suggest this as probably the right one. To take a concrete example. In taking measurements at a boys’ commercial secondary school in an industrial centre, where most lads were of Scotch parentage, a lad was brought to me with the half-jesting suggestion that perhaps the callipers could find out why he had done such consistently bad work for the 18 months that he had been in the school, though he had headed the scholarship list on entry. It happened that the lad was of a striking physique noted frequently among photographs of old Welsh bards and preachers. In conversation it turned out that the lad was of Welsh extraction, that a relative had just won a bardic prize, and that the lad’ s interests were all literary. Following a talk to the head master the lad was removed to a school where his literary ability had scope, and later I heard that he had done brilliantly and was now in a University. Head teachers in some schools are now helping me to record special aptitudes, and eventually the cards should help, it is hoped, in the problems of advisory committees on the occupation of adolescents. An important scientific aspect of the work is the effort to record ancestry, and so to work out to some extent the heredity of the child and its relation to each of its parents. The advantages from this point of view of studies of children of negro and white, of Chinese and white, &c., are obvious, since some results of crossing are written in obvious characters, whereas in the blending of the races so long living side by side in our own island, the problem is much more intricate…


The observations on children of English and foreign parentage have only been carried out for the last year, and so results are based on much smaller numbers, and no growth data are available. The conclusions given are therefore merely in the nature of an interim report and should not be taken as final.

Several children whose fathers were Chinese, and mothers English were measured; in one case the father was Chinese and the mother Anglo-Chinese. Parents were measured in some cases. As regards physical characters, 47.3% had inherited the fold of the eyelid characterised as Mongolian. One unfortunate lad had this fold and an orbit of Chinese shape on one side only. His eyes also varied, one being the characteristic “opaque” brown of the Chinese, and one being a light grey-brown English eye.

Skin colour. Although the mothers were usually of the fair “Nordic” type, only one child had a really fair fresh skin, and 68.4% had inherited Chinese skin type and colour.

Eye colour. 68.4% had the characteristic “opaque” brown Chinese eye, and only one child had blue eyes…

…Social Workers agreed in reporting that the Chinese were good husbands, and especially good fathers, and insisted on care of the children. This was borne out by what we saw in visiting the homes, where the Chinese father often seemed most anxious to get the children to be at their best intellectually when we went in. Several Chinese were bitter about the impossibility of getting good housing conditions The children often seemed affectionate and to have complete confidence in their Chinese father, whereas in the negro-white home the children clung to the mother. The unions of Chinese and White were more usually stable than those of Negro and White…



Skin colour. With three exceptions skin colour had been inherited from the coloured side to a greater or less degree. There were several cases of negro father and half-caste mother, and in these cases the skin was distinctly negroid. In all cases, Fl and F2 reckoned together, 92% showed some degree of negro colouring. Marked variations of intensity in pigmentation occurred, and it was noticeable that in many children the forehead seemed specially dusky, in others the arms and legs and neck varied much in intensity of shade. In cases of Portuguese and Spanish negro crossed with English half-caste, the skin was a beautiful gold-orange tint with a deep red in the cheeks. In the case of negro ancestry of American origin there were indications of North American Indian in skin and eyes, etc. It is hoped to follow up this question of inheritance of skin colour in larger numbers, and to get data on the effect of sex linkage.

Eye colour. 30% had English eyes, 70% had the peculiar velvety deep bluish brown negro eye. Only one child had really blue eyes. There were several cases of a grayish rim to the eye which had the appearance of the ring due to age, and in two cases cataract had developed. It would be interesting to work out whether this had any relation to the different light conditions, i.e., the eye had developed its intensity in tropic conditions and that intensity may possibly not be suited to our cloudier conditions.

Hair. A little over 50% had hair negroid in type and in colour, 25% had hair English in type and colour. The remaining 25% exhibited some curious mixtures-hair tight and frizzy in type, but flaxen in colour surmounting a quite black face, in another case hair partly woolly in type and partly straight, and ranging from light brown to black, and so on.

Lips. About 12% had lips like the average English child, 50% had wide everted lips, and the remainder had one lip wide and everted and one English in type.

Nose. 70% had the broad flat negro nose.

Limbs. 70% showed negroid features in the slimness of bone or in the bulbous appearance of the joints.

General appearance. 43% immediately gave the impression of being distinctly negroid. 5% might have passed as English children, and the remainder were half caste in appearance. There were some striking anomalies, e.g., negro skin and flaxen hair, negroid colouring and white scalp-in this peculiar case, almost the only thing that betrayed any English blood was the very white scalp-the hair was woolly and black. In another case the eyes and lips were English in type, the skin colour a rich brownish red, the hair dark and the scalp, very light. Other peculiarities were the long hairs often growing on the check bones and outwards from a central vertical space in the forehead. The fact that 25% admitted half-caste blood on the mother’s side shows that this intermixture is going on steadily in our seaport towns.

Head Shape. In most cases the head form was markedly long and narrow, as is to be expected since the mothers were mainly fair long heads and the negro is long headed.

General conclusions. The negro side of the ancestry tends to be very apparent in both Fl and F2 generations. Skin, eye and hair colour are not all inherited together, but vary most curiously and unexpectedly, giving the children at times a most disharmonic appearance.

Most of the Anglo-Negro children observed came from poor homes, and frequently children of the same mother had different fathers e.g. a family where the mother was recorded as sub-normal, included pure European, Anglo-negro, Anglo-halfcaste children, and a child of uncertain fatherhood. One such European child in a mixed family was a girl of aristocratic features anid bearing, who had an expression of suppressed and sullen inward rage and shamnefacediness that was painful to see. There were pleasant exceptions to this rule of bad conditions, notably a family where the father was a well educated, musical and intelligent negro, and the woman an intelligent and devoted European mother, who insisted that the father was her superior in mind and ideals. One girl in this family took a prominent part in school activities and athletics and was popular with both staff and scholars. Her frank, happy and intelligent expression was a refreshing contrast to the sulky, half shamed expression too often seen on the face of the adolescent half caste girl in our crowdecd cities. Yet even in this case teachers were finding it difficult to plan out a future occupation for the girl…

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