hoffman extinction thesis 1897

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Children are naturally curious—they want to know "how" and "why. In this minilesson, students organize the information they have compiled through the research process by using sentence strips. Students first walk through the process using information on Beluga whales as a model. Students match facts written on sentence strips to one of four categories: appearance, behavior, habitat, and food. Sentence strips are color-coded to match each category. The sequence of notes sentence strips under each category are case studies page in an indented outline form, and regrouped so that similar facts are placed together.

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Hoffman extinction thesis 1897

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Their ideas about what race is are not simply scientific ones, are not simply driven by the data that they are working with. That it's also informed by the societies in which they live. And the face of its power and prosperity was white. African Americans lived under the yoke of Jim Crow segregation. Most surviving Native Americans had been banished to reservations. And new immigrants crowded into urban ghettos.

Disease was rampant. Death rates soared. Infant mortality was high. To many, this reflected a preordained natural order. HAMMONDS: Those that looked, wanted to confirm what they saw, which is to say that the proper place of, say the Negro, or in other regions of the country, the Native American, or the Chinese, were at the bottom of the, the social and political hierarchy. And if you can say that they are fundamentally biologically different, than they should be, then it's natural for them to be at the bottom of our social hierarchy.

The social differences become naturalized in biology. It's not that our institutions cause differences in infant mortality, it's that there really are biological differences between the races. This tendency must lead to a still greater mortality. And in the end, cause the extinction of the race. Hoffman's Race, Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro was published in , the same year the Supreme Court legalized segregation. It was one of the most influential publications of its day.

It, it fit into their notions of how, uh, races become ascendant in the world. They looked at other groups of people in various stages beneath them as approaching the completely civilized stage. He compared rates of death and disease between African Americans and whites, and, not surprisingly, found enormous disparities. But his data analysis was flawed. He ignored the insidious effects of poverty and social neglect on health. In contrast to today's belief in Black physical superiority, Hoffman concluded that African Americans were innately infirmed.

As such, attempts to improve their housing, health and education would be futile. Their extinction was inevitable, encoded in their blood. Racial purification was one aim of the Eugenics movement. The science of eugenics rested on simple Mendelian genetics. One gene each from father and mother, it was believed, gave rise to any trait, physical, behavioral, even moral. Um, uh, virtually any cultural or behaviorial trait you could imagine. Now, the mistake that they were making was assuming that complex behaviors could be reduced to simple Mendelian genes.

NARRATOR: Nonetheless, eugenicists used the science of the day to advance a social agenda widely accepted in white America - to breed the best and the brightest, always white, and breed out society's worst and weakest of all colors. You don't want a superior race, a race with great qualities of intellect and achievement and musical genius, and these kinds of things, to mix with a race on a lower stage of civilization that has fewer of these characteristics because that again would bring down the level of those characteristics and what you want to have for your civilization.

Mongrel Virginians. Mixed race. Unclassifiable, and worse, able to pass for white, circumvent segregation laws and breed into the white race. To keep America's mongrels at bay, eugenicists proposed a series of restrictive measures unthinkable today. Yet they were adopted within and outside of America.

Taken to their extreme, they fueled one of the century's greatest horrors. GRAVES: The Nazi propaganda machine pointed out that their eugenic policies were entirely consistent and in fact derived from, ideas of American race scientists. But the star of the games would shatter those expectations. As a child, Jesse Owens had been chronically ill, destined it seemed to fulfill Hoffman's extinction thesis.

Until a teacher intervened. How could a society steeped in the science of racial inferiority reconcile itself to Owens's four gold medals? By conceding innate athletic superiority to African Americans while denying them so-called civilized capacities. Thank you very kindly. A flurry of debate between racial scientists and those contesting their assumptions greeted Owens's accomplishments.

GOODMAN: With the rise of the great Negro athletes in the s, it became this question that there must be a reason that they're great, and that that reason must reside in biology rather than in, in culture or history or circumstance.

And Jesse Owens was picked apart. He talks about his feet, he talks about his legs, his calves, his chest capacity. And he comes to the conclusion, of course, that, you know, you can't say that Negroes have some special characteristics that make them more fit as runners. But what marker would identify them as Negro, in the first place. Jackie as Asian? Noah as white? Gorgeous as Black? Where is your measurement device? There is no way to measure race. We sometimes do it by skin color, other people may do it by hair texture - other people may have the dividing lines different in terms of skin color.

He had an Italian father and a Black mother, he's always classified as Black. You see, American racial classification is totally cultural. Who's Tiger Woods? Who's Colin Powell? Colin Powell's as Irish as he is African. Being Black has been defined as just looking dark enough that anyone can see you are.

And a book on evolution had in it a skin color scale that went from one to thirty-six. And I would spend hours putting my arm against the scale in the book, the picture in the book, trying to figure out what number my color was. And I couldn't quite find myself on the scale.

But I guess the thing that surprised me was with the skin color test, you know, what should you technically call the entire group. You know? It's something that I've taken for granted. It's also a privilege, I guess. NOAH: There's no profit in denying it, that, um, that there is a certain advantage to being white. Today, some genes, like those for skin color, come in different forms. Lighter melanin is found where sunlight is less intense. Scientists debate why this is.

In northern latitudes with very little light during the winter, one needed every bit of light that one could capture in order to be able to have adequate, active vitamin D. And children in particular, would need to have, would need to be able to absorb into their skin enough light to have vitamin D present to keep them healthy.

GRAVES: The best way to understand the genetic differences that we find in human populations is that populations differ by distance, and it's a continuous change, um, from one group to another. And one way we can look at this is use the example of skin color. If we were to only look at people in the tropics and people in Norway, we'd come to the conclusion that there's a group of people who have light skin and there's a group of people who have dark skin. But if we were to walk from the tropics to Norway, what we would see is a continuous change in skin tone.

And at no point along that trip would we be able to say, "Oh, this is the place in which we go from the dark race to the light race. There is so many aspects of human variation. So there are many, many ways to begin to explain them. Like eye shape, hair texture, whether or not your tongue curls, involves very few genes. And even those genes haven't all been identified. Variation in traits we regard as socially important is much more complicated.

Differences in how our brains work, how we make art, how gracefully we move. Genes may contribute to variation in these traits, but to the extent they do, there would be a cascade of genes at work, interacting with each other and the environment, in relationships so intricate and complex, that science has hardly begun to decipher them. And you have to be very careful. Even when there are genes that influence those things, to talk about it as genes for them is not so clear. OSSORIO: What makes us different is both those genetic differences that we have between us and also the interaction of that genome with the environment, and the environment is a very, very complicated thing.

So when I say, I sort of mean the environment writ large, everything from the environment in the womb to the environment in your school. Sons of immigrants, theirs were the hoop dreams of the day. GRAVES: And it was said that the reason that they were so good at basketball was because the, the artful dodger characteristic of the Jewish culture made them good at this sport.

There are strong cultural aspects of what sports individuals choose to play that has to do with the interaction of individual genetic background of opportunity and training. History shows us, that as opportunities change in society, different groups get drawn into sporting arenas. The top NBA draft pick? GRAVES: We can't come to any fast hard rule about how, uh, genetic ancestry is going to influence the ability of an individual to perform an athletic event.

So I don't think we're ever going to be able to isolate a gene for athletic performance. If genes contribute to Marcus' musical talent, there would be dozens, interacting with environment, training, and practice. Those genes would be inherited independently of the genes for eye shape, skin color and hair form which Marcus inherited through his Korean - and Jamaican ancestors.

In other words, skin color needs to reflect things that are deeper in the body, under the skin. But most of human variation is non-concordant. Skin color or eye color or hair color is not correlated with height or weight. And they're definitely not correlated with more complex traits like intelligence or athletic performance. Jamil right? From the beginning, they believed they would be most similar genetically to those whose racial ancestry they believed they shared.

KING: If we want a very fine scale for assessing how similar we are to each other, person by person, we can do that by sequencing that small bit of mitochondrial DNA. It does not code for any traits, and is inherited only from our mother. KING: Now, what will it tell us?

It will tell us a whole lot about one of our ancestors, our mother's mother's mother's mother's mother. The students are sampling a small sequence, about three-hundred and fifty letters long. They find that most of it is identical, one to the other. What is not, is highlighted in yellow. In fact, Jon discovered that he had the same number of differences with Kiril as he had with Jackie, only three. NARRATOR: If human variation were to map along racial lines, people in one so-called race would be more similar to each other than to those in another so-called race.

That's not what the students found in their mtDNA. What about other genetic differences? LEWONTIN: The problem for evolutionists and population geneticists was always to try to actually characterize how much genetic variation there was between individuals and groups. And I spent a lot of time worrying about that, like other people in my profession. A new technology enabled him to do pioneering work. If you could grind it up, you could do it. Uh, that included people, I mean, you don't have to grind the whole person, but you could take a little tissue, or blood.

Over the years, a lot of data were gathered by anthropologists and geneticists looking at blood group genes, and protein genes, and other kinds of genes from all over the world. I mean, anthropologists just went around taking blood out of everybody. But uh, but they did, and so, I thought, 'well, we've got enough of these data, let's see what it tells us about the differences between human groups.

Between individuals within Sweden, or within the Chinese, or the Kikuyus, or the Icelanders. Any two individuals within any so-called race may be as different from each other as they are from any individual in another so-called race. Um, the answer is no.

There's as much or more diversity and genetic difference within any racial group as there is between people of different racial groups. There can be accumulations of genes in one place in the globe and not another. And for some genetic diseases, like sickle cell disease. Long assumed to be a racial trait, sickle cell disease is a debilitating disorder caused by a gene form that alters the shape of red blood cells.

The sickle cell trait is not uncommon in people from the, in people from the Mediterranean region. Sickle cell trait persists in certain populations around the world because of the relative resistance it confers to malaria. So people who've got sickle cell trait are less likely to develop malaria and when they do develop it, they are less likely to develop severe complications and to die from it.

And in the Mediterranean basin, the home of Jackie Washburn's ancestors. Thought to have originated only a few thousand years ago, sickle cell is not a racial trait. It's the result of having ancestors who lived in malarial regions. Race does not account for patterns of genetic variation. Our recency as a species and the way we have moved and mated throughout our history, does. Our human lineage originated in Africa.

About two million years ago, small groups of early hominids - not modern humans -- began a first migration out of Africa to the far reaches of the globe, breeding isolated lineages. In he began to study pharmacy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and graduated in with the pharmaceutical state examination.

In he studied chemistry in Munich and was awarded his doctorate on 22 June under Eugen Bamberger with a thesis on some derivatives of dihydroanthracene and decahydroquinoline. Willow bark was used as a remedy for fever and pain of all kinds, at the latest in the early advanced civilizations. Hippocrates of Kos, Dioscurides and the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder [ 7 ] regarded willow bark as a medicine. By boiling willow tree bark, Germanic and Celtic tribes obtained extracts and used them for healing purposes, which contained substances related to the synthetic acetylsalicylic acid.

In , Edward Stone, a clergyman living in Oxford, reported to the Royal Society in London that these findings known from tradition were correct. In , Johann Andreas Buchner succeeded in isolating salicin, a chemical relative of ASA that is converted to salicylic acid in the body, from the said willow bark extracts willow, Salix sp. From Bayer had established its own pharmaceutical and chemical department.

Head of the Pharmacological Laboratory with eight chemists and pharmacologists , which was founded in , was Heinrich Dreser. Privately, Hoffmann continued to maintain a friendly relationship with his doctoral supervisor Bamberger in Zurich. The pain releaving properties of willow bark were known for a long time and in , Hermann Kolbe managed to synthesize it. In the s , it was first sold, but its side effects e. When Hoffmann acetylated salicylic acid to produce acetylsalicylic acid , Heinrich Dreser tested the substance on patients in a hospital in Halle, Germany.

Unfortunately, the sources on the origins of Aspirin differ. However, Bayer always denied this and asserted that the invention of aspirin was due to Hoffmann. However, Felix Hoffmann not only succesfully synthesized acetylsalicylic acid in a stable form usable for medical applications and thus, creating one of the most widely beneficial drugs of all time.

In a two-week period, Hoffmann also synthesized heroin , one of the most harmful drugs. He was asked by Dreser to acetylate morphine in order to produce codeine , but created heroin. The compound had already been discovered in and could not be patented. Before the high risk of addiction using heroin was discovered, the drug was sold by Bayer to cure coughs , to relieve pain in extreme situations like childbirth , and to control various mental disorders.

Following the synthesis of aspirin, Hoffmann moved to the pharmaceutical marketing department where he stayed until his retirement in He was granted full power of attorney over Aspirin. On February 8, Felix Hoffmann died retired and without descendants in Switzerland.


Who was Frederick Hoffman and what does his work signify? Frederick Hoffman wrote, I think, one of the most influential documents in social science at the turn of the 20th century: Race, Traits, and Tendencies of the American Negro. And in this document, he put forth a whole host of statistics to back up the idea that the Negro would eventually become extinct. And he did this by charting disease rates, by looking at the conditions that the freed slaves faced in the cities as they moved away from the rural south and outside of slavery.

A key measure for him was the differential rates of tuberculosis between whites and blacks. And what he found was that African Americans had very, very high rates of tuberculosis. He also found high rates of syphilis and venereal diseases. But for him, though, tuberculosis was key because he felt that this was the signal index of whether or not African Americans would be able to survive outside of slavery.

He would say, "Well, given these high rates of tuberculosis and other kinds of infectious diseases, we expect the Negro and the Native American to become extinct. They just simply will not be able to survive the rigors of civilization because in part, their bodies are not fit for those environments. Their intellects aren't fit to compete with us. They are not capable of engaging with us in the rough and tumble world of the marketplace.

And therefore, they will simply die off. Of course it didn't happen. What's interesting about this piece is that it resonated in the minds of so many other social observers of the time, the extinction thesis. It fit into their notions of how races become ascendent in the world; it fit into their notions of how races also had degenerated - that is, had died out.

And so they saw themselves at the pinnacle of civilization. They looked at other groups of people in various stages beneath them. So again, you see, it's a kind of reflection of an anxiety about a whole host of social issues - about the role of the freed peoples in American society, the role of Native Americans in American society, the role of all the immigrants who were coming in at that same moment in time, and what that would mean for the position, the prestige and power of the whites who basically had control of the society.

They're worried about the threat from these other peoples and that threat and that anxiety is being expressed through the idea that, "Look at their bodies, they're dying from disease. We can chart that, we can quantify it, we can see by looking at this that they will not be able to survive. It's important thing to realize that there were responses to people like Hoffman. There were people who said, "There's something wrong with this picture and the conclusions that you draw from this picture.

DuBois was one of those people. DuBois suggested that if you look at tuberculosis rates among peoples who live in similar circumstances, you will see the same kinds of rates. If you compare the rates of African Americans who live in Chicago in dire conditions and you compare immigrants - groups who live in those same kinds of neighborhoods with very poor housing, bad water, probably live near the stockyards - you see high rates of tuberculosis among those groups of people as well.

And therefore, tuberculosis is not an index of fitness for civilization. It is a reflection of certain kinds of environmental conditions that can be changed. And he was very adamant about that. So he really wanted to counter the notion of this inherent racial difference and emphasize that environment was important, if not more important in how we understand these kinds of disease rates.

Now DuBois makes this argument; there are a few other commentators who also try to argue against this prevailing view of extinction. But by and large, nobody pays any attention to them. What can sports tell us about our attitudes about racial difference? Athletic capacity is one of those ways in which we look at differences. In the s, people were looking at lengths of limbs, they were measuring the body in particular kinds of ways. They weren't yet able to ask about genes.

And so, when the African American anthropologist and physician Montague Cobb is trying to explain why Jesse Owens was such an outstanding track star, he does so by talking about his body. He talks about his feet, he talks about his legs, his calves, his chest capacity. He talks about those kinds of things, but he comes to the conclusion, of course, that you can't say that Negroes have some special characteristics that make them more fit as runners.

If you look at other groups of people, you're going to see similar kinds of characteristics that make them good as runners. So he was trying to counter the argument that there are some inherent racial differences that made Jesse Owens special at that particular time. So now we ask whether or not athletes who are quite superior have different genes from other people. As we used to ask - does an African-American man have different limbs or feet or brain size that makes them different in other ways?

What is downplayed is the role of training, the role of discipline, the role of the will to win and all these other kinds of things that I think most athletes would say is critical to their capacity to be successful at a particular level. But what we do now is begin to ask, is there something genetic?

And we begin to ask those questions about genetics the same way we ask those questions about other kinds of bodily differences. Do they have different genes than other people that make them superior athletes?

Why is "blood" such a powerful racial metaphor? The "one-drop rule" was made up in the United States. It's the rule of hypo-descent. It says that if you have one drop of black "blood", then you are a black person in the United States.

And imagine a reverse situation where one drop of white blood could make you a white person. So that rule is quite arbitrary. It also gives a particular power to the notion of blood. It gives a particular power to the notion of contamination, that one drop of black blood makes you black and therefore conferred upon you lesser rights of citizenship, of course, than all of the other white blood that you might have. So the one drop of black blood is a contaminant and it has powerful social consequences.

One of the connotations associated with race is the notion of blood, of ancestry, that a race is a group of, say, horses descended from some common ancestor, and the blood of that common ancestor flows through all the descendants. You want a horse who's descended from Secretariat who won the Kentucky Derby. And applied to humans, I think we see it in similar ways, that blood and that notion of being "of one blood" is a statement about ancestry, is a statement about kinship.

And it's also a statement about certain peoples versus other peoples. That our family, bound together by this common ancestor, is also bound together by a common heritage, a common set of values, a common set of behavioral characteristics that we pass on to our children. So you want to preserve your "blood lines"; you don't want to contaminate your blood lines. In terms of race, blood is something that is both metaphorical and also something real. So for example, when people first began to study and understand the notion of blood groups, they falsely thought they could use differences in blood groups to categorize races.

So you move from that sort of metaphorical level that race somehow is an expression of ancestry and kinship and common stock to it being literally used by scientists to try to understand human differences at a biological level. And certainly, of course then, blood is what you also use in genetic studies as well. So blood is something that has all of these qualities of representing both sort of the essence of human life, but also the thing we use to try to understand human difference, the idea we use to try to think about how we're connected to our human past.

So it really functions on a lot of levels, both literally and figuratively as, I think, a very important metaphor about race and how we use the concept of race. And even up to the Second World War blood plasma was segregated. And what you see is that many whites did not want to have "black blood. The irony, of course, is that an African American physician, Charles Drew, invented the technique that enabled blood plasma to be widely used. Do we need to worry about scientists racializing their data and conclusions today?

Scientists also now claim - and I mean scientists broadly but primarily I think people who are looking at this new genetic data - they say that we shouldn't worry about the ways in which we talked about race in the past, that scientists would never make those kinds of mistakes in their studies of human variation today. I think we always have to hold those kinds of comments with a kind of skepticism.

Because we believe, and I think there's a lot of evidence to show, that scientists are part of their social context, that their social ideas, their ideas about what race is, are not simply scientific ones, are not simply driven by the data that they're working with.

They're also informed by the societies in which they live. And to that extent, then, it's not a separation between science and society. It's the ways in which science is in society. And therefore our cultural and political and social beliefs about race do inform scientists' interpretation of their data about race. And I think it's important that we remember that. I'm not particularly worried that we'll have a repeat of the excesses of the 19th century, or the early 20th century eugenics, or the excesses of Nazism in the s.

I believe that what we have to worry about is how questions of human difference will be framed and what meanings we'll give to the issues of difference that will be brought to the fore by this new genetic research. And it will be very easy for us to look around and say, "Ah, since the largest group of people in American prisons right now are African Americans, that's the population we should look at to study whether or not there is a gene for criminality.

It's often been characterized that 19th century racial science was pseudo-science. It's not pseudo-science; it was the science of the day. Morton's reputation didn't accrue to him because he was doing something that people thought was wrong. He was thought to be doing something that was correct by the standards of the day.

So we have to take him in his times. To the extent that he was responsible and involved in using the data that he collected to justify the inferior state of African Americans, of course he did it, of course that happened. And to say that today scientists are so completely clear about the meaning of their data and the ways in which it will be used to answer questions, profound social questions about race in the United States today, to suggest that that couldn't possibly happen is incorrect.

The following table exhibits the development of the colored population for the last one hundred years, as well as its decennial rates of increase and percentage of the total population. Colored Population of the United States. If we begin with , the first census year after the constitutional suppression of the slave trade, we see from this table that the growth of the Negro element followed the ordinary law of population, viz: a gradual decline in the rate of increase.

In 70 years the decennial rate of increase declined from about 30 per cent to 22 per cent. But from to there was a per saltum decrease from 22 to 13 per cent--that is, the decline in ten years was equal to that of the previous seventy. And all this has happened during an era of profound peace and prosperity, when the Negro population was subject to no great perturbing influences. When a number of observations follow with reasonable uniformity a fixed law, but a single result deviates widely from this law.

The author nowhere assigns any adequate cause for this sudden "slump" in the increase of the colored population. Instead of attributing it, in part at least, to the probable imperfection of the eleventh census, he relies wholly upon a blind force recently discovered and named by him "race traits and tendencies. As has been shrewdly remarked by an able reviewer, "It would seem incumbent on him Mr. Hoffman further to prove that these race traits, after being held in abeyance for at least a century, first took decisive action in the decade to In there were 1,, Negroes in the United States.

In 80 years this number had swollen to at least 7,,, and that, too, without reinforcement from outside immigration. It more than quintupled itself in eight decades. Does it not require much fuller demonstration than the author anywhere presents to convince the ordinary mind that a people that has shown such physical vitality for so long a period, has all at once, in a single decade, become comparatively infecund and threatened with extinction?

It is passing strange that it escaped the attention of a statistician of Mr. Hoffman's sagacity that, even granting the accuracy of the eleventh census, the natural increase of the Negro race was greater than that of the whites during the last decade. The number of immigrants who came to this country between and was 5,, I am informed by the census bureau that this number does not include the immigrants who came from British North America and from Mexico after This number was estimated by the statistical bureau of the Treasury Department to be ,, making the total number of immigrants 5,, If this number be subtracted from the increase of the white population during the last decade 11,, their rate of increase will be reduced to Nor is this all.

The immigrants were for the most part in the full maturity and vigor of their productive powers, being the most fecund element of our white population. If allowance be made for their natural increase from to the white race would show a decennial increase appreciably below that of the blacks. If the Negro, then, is threatened with extinction, the white race is in a still more pitiable plight.

The table on page 6 does indeed show plainly that the Negro does not hold his own as a numerical factor of our mixed population. Whereas he represented 19 per cent of the entire population in he now represents only 12 per cent. But the cause of this relative decline is apparent enough. It is due to white immigration and not to "race traits" as Mr.

Hoffman would have us believe. It would be as legitimate to attribute the decline of the Yankee element as a numerical factor in the large New England centers to the race degeneracy of the Puritan, while ignoring the proper cause--the influx of the Celt.

Hoffman's conclusions as to the Negro population are not generally accepted by students of social problems. Their position is more clearly stated in a recent notice of the work now under review. Hoffman reaches conclusions very different from those generally held by those who have discussed the subject on a priori grounds. The general impression has been that the colored population was increasing at a rate greater than that of the whites, owing both to the greater number of children born and also to the fact that all children of a mixed race were counted as blacks.

From such a condition of affairs it would naturally be assumed that the race to which all half-breeds were credited would, especially if prolific, rapidly gain upon the other race. On the appearance of each census since emancipation, there has been some hue and cry as to the destiny of the Negro population.

Public opinion has been rhythmical with reference to its rise and fall above and below the mean line of truth. In it was extermination; in it was dreaded that the whole country would be Africanized because of the prolificness of a barbarous race; in the doctrine of extinction was preached once more; what will be the outcry in can only be divined at this stage, but we may rest assured that it will be something startling.

Negroes in Cities. The author's studies in the minor features of the Negro population form the most interesting and valuable work which has yet been undertaken on the subject. The urban drift, the tendency to concentration, and the migratory movements of the black population are treated with fullness and force. It is interesting to know that there are 13 cities in which the colored population exceeds 20,, and 23 in which it exceeds 10,, and that the rate of increase of the colored element in these centers is enormous--more than 30 per cent.

The concentration of the colored population in certain sections of cities is quite suggestive. The following table will disclose some of the striking features which Mr. Hoffman has exhibited at length. This tendency to concentration in undesirable places is found to be greater in Northern than in Southern cities. Every large city has its white wards and its black wards, which the politician knows as well as the seaman knows the depths and shallows of the sea.

The evil of this tendency cannot be denied or gainsaid; but its cause is not far to seek nor hard to find. Black belts. The author also notes with alarm that the Negro population is congesting in the black belts of the South. There are 70 counties in this section with an aggregate area of over 50, square miles in which the colored population outnumbers the white nearly three to one.

The general conviction is that the Negroes will be gathered into black settlements scattered throughout the Gulf states. The superintendent of the tenth census writes on this subject: "I entertain a strong conviction that the further course of our Negro population will exhibit that tendency in a continually growing force; that this element will be more and more drained off from the higher and colder lands into the low, hot regions bordering on the Gulf of Mexico.

Commenting on this subject Mr. Hoffman says: "This tendency if persisted in will probably in the end prove disastrous to the advancement of the colored race, since there is but the slightest prospect that the race will be lifted to a higher plane of civilization except by constant contact with the white race.

It is undoubtedly true that the Negro has not the initiative power of civilization. What race has? Civilization is not an original process with any race or nation known to history. The torch has been passed from race to race and from age to age. Where else can the Negro go? The white race at present has the light. This concession is no reproach to the Negro race, nor is it due to any peculiar race trait or tendency.

There is a stretch of country extending from southern Pennsylvania to northern Alabama, containing sections of Maryland, West Virginia. This section contains a population of nearly 3,, souls. They belong for the most part to the most thrifty element of our complex population--an element whose toughness of moral and mental fiber is proverbial.

The Scotch-Irish are famed the world over for their manly and moral vigor. And yet this people have sunken to the lowest depth of poverty and degradation--a depth from which, without the assistance of outside help, they can be lifted nevermore. Then, supposing the Negroes to be concentrated in the black belts, as seems inevitable, will they necessarily be shut out from wholesome contact with civilization? Not at all. Just how far personal and servile contact can elevate the moral and manly tone of a people is not quite evident.

But the result of indirect missionary contact is, perhaps, the surest way to lift a race into civilization. I point to Japan as a recent, striking illustration of this argument. The black belts will afford the richest field for missionary and philanthropic endeavor No section of this country can remain long in an uncivilized state or relapse into barbarism that has in its midst a Hampton Institute or a Booker T.

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Following the Civil War, the major insurance companies insured African Americans on an equal basis with whites. The editors of the trade journal Spectator concurred, arguing, the color line is not drawn simply because the applicants are negroes— the world is too progressive for that—but a distinction is made on account of the fact that companies cannot afford to grant policies at the same rates to colored as to white applicants and any legislation which is intended to force them to do so is particularly tyrannous.

The work of one young actuary, in particu- lar, Frederick Hoffman, proved valuable to proponents of anti-black insurance policies in New Jersey. In , Hoffman became a regular contributor to the trade journal the Spectator, writing primarily on issues related to health and race. Hoffman would remain with Prudential for nearly forty years, writing on a variety of issues such as race, cancer, suicide, alcoholism, and national health insurance Sypher.

From the minstrel stage to the brutal spectacle of lynching, the degraded black body was seen as both cause and consequence of racial depravity. Popular opinion main- tained that slavery had insulated blacks from the enfeebling effects of the free market and direct competition with the superior white wage labourer. Moreover, many believed that slavery had compelled the seemingly indolent Negro to labour.

Hoffman drew on secondary data gleaned from census, sociological, medical, and military sources to make the argument that black health had declined following emancipation. Hoffman, Race Traits In all four states, the rate of natural increase—the excess of birth over deaths—occurred exclusively in the white as opposed to the black population. Yet isolated rural blacks often failed to report births or deaths to the local white registrar, who, in turn, generally neglected to collect accurate data on resident black families.

Statisticians tried to com- pensate by inferring the number of live births through a comparison of the consecutive decennial census. Across the social and natural sciences, the black body became a repository for a shifting constellation of various social ills—crime, sexual deviance, miscegenation, and poverty—from which the wider white public had to be protected. Canadian Review of American Studies 43 From to , the black population of the sixteen largest Southern cities increased by just over per cent, compared to an increase of 94 per cent for whites Race Traits 10—1; see also Kelly.

This migration was seasonal in nature, characterized by the rhythms of the cotton harvests and the restraints of regional black codes. Yet, whereas Lombroso cited sloping foreheads, narrowed eyes, or recessed chins as proof of criminality, Hoffman posited a black phenotype itself as the stigmata of a diseased criminal nature. Black prisoners were also disproportionately represented in national convictions for homicides According to the census of , there were approximately 82, prisoners in the United States, 24, of whom were black.

Though blacks made up only Nationwide, black men made up The analysis of black criminality in Race Traits reveals the contradic- tory logic of hereditarianism theory. Hoffman conceded that viable statistics for black crime during slavery were non-existent or fragmentary, at best. Progressives held contradictory views of African-American sexuality, characterizing it as both violent threat and enfeebling trait.

On the one hand, the rapid rise in lynching exposed Southern anxieties about increasing black socio-economic mobility and unreg- ulated sexuality. During the s, lynchings claimed some lives each year, 75 per cent of which were black. Moreover, rising rates of venereal disease among urban blacks rarely failed to escape the attention of any observer of American race relations. In Atlanta, between and , deaths from venereal diseases were 4.

During this same period, residents of Washington and Baltimore experi- enced almost identical racial disparities in venereal mortality rates Race Traits Race Traits cast the sexually promiscuous urban Negro as the author of his own destruction. Syphilis, in particular, which resulted in skin lesions, respiratory problems, malformed limbs, and insanity, took a terrible toll on black bodies. The dishevelled and mentally ill syphilitic—an increasingly common sight in the black sections of many Southern towns and cities— seemingly embodied the deleterious effects of city life on blacks.

Nor were whites alone in condemning the sexual deviance of urban blacks. Though Janus-faced characterizations of black female sexuality had long infused American society—the black woman as asexual Mammy and ravenous Jezebel—progressive-era versions of this dichotomy were decidedly eugenic in nature.

Race Traits depicts a rapidly urbanizing Negro, beset by the twin demons of venereal disease and race mixing. For Hoffman, racial health was synonymous with racial purity. These various forms of sympathy developed out of the similar interests, ideas, and habits that bound social groups together. Conversely, a lack of sympathy seemingly made affections, and thus reproduction, socially and biologically impossible.

Recent census data showed an increase of mulattos in the black population, from He argued that mixed-race unions produced an average of only one child, compared to 2. Hoffman cited the editors of Spectator, who claimed that the mortality of the Negro may well be considered the most important phase of the so-called race problem; for it is a fact which can and will be demonstrated by indisputable evidence, that of all races for which statistics are obtainable … the negro and in particular his hybrid character, shows the least power of resistance in the struggle for life.

Theories of black inferiority were predicated on notions of the black body and mind as instinctively primal. Professor J. Mental illness in African Americans was seen as the result of a primitive physiology, taxed beyond both its physical and mental limits by the demands of modern life. Respiratory health was based on a number of factors: lung capacity, chest circumference, and height-to-weight ratio.

In his research for Race Traits, Hoffman drew heavily on the wartime studies of Colonel Ben- jamin Gould for analysis of disparities in racial respiratory health. Though Gould found minimal differences in chest circumference— Army medics measured the lung capacity for whites at Gould also found that whites had higher rates of respiration than their black or mulatto counterparts.

Although low body weight was not seen as a direct causal agent of respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis, it was an indicator of possible infection. Tuberculosis had a complex aetiology, rife with race and class connotations. While the ravages of consumption spared no section of society, it was the working classes who suffered most from the dreaded white plague Yet, informed by the imperatives and mores of contemporary political economy, analysis of the tubercular poor cited their genes rather than their environment as the primary culprit of their condition.

Civil War records revealed that, while whites had been rejected for consumption at a rate of He buttressed this theory with data from the census and an examination of tuberculosis rates per , for the fourteen cities nationwide with the largest black populations.

Without exception, urban mortality rates for blacks far exceeded those of whites. Even in Northern centres such as Boston and New York, which had relatively small black populations, the racial disparities in tubercular mortality rates were staggering: in New York, black mortality rates were almost three times the rates for whites Race Traits Though Hoffman was willing to see slavery as a transformative or ameliorative social force, he was unable or unwilling to conceive of the negative environ- mental effects of urban life on the black working poor.

The arrival of rural blacks in Southern cities placed added strain on a job market already weathering a deep, nationwide depression. Within this socioeconomic context, tuberculosis functioned as both an aetiological condition and as an imperative of a white-supremacist political economy.

The increasingly malleable boundaries of whiteness allowed groups such as the Irish—and to a lesser extent the Jews—to shed their identities as consumptive races and gradually attain the healthful character of republican manhood. Depictions of African Americans as a consumptive race, lacking in vital capacity, were driven by the socio- economic, cultural, and spatial dynamics of the progressive-era political economy.

In , approximately 80 per cent of blacks lived in the states of the former confederacy. With the ascendance of Mendelian biology—which privileged racial traits over acquired characteristics—the removal of a race from its natural habitat ostensibly led to a marked decrease in vital capacity and possible death. Hoffman insisted that blacks had experienced irrevocable long-term physiological damage by way of their removal from Africa and manumission from a benevolent slavery.

From both a spatial and evolutionary perspective, working black bodies were out of space and time Racial models of climatic determinism reimagined the respiratory tract into a key discursive site of racial labour division. The rubric of vital capacity became a key technology of both domestic and imperial political economy.

George Gorgas and Col. Leonard Wood made extensive studies of American troops in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, measuring their susceptibility to diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. Models of the tropical and arctic lung sought to reconcile racial form with function and effect racial labour division along distinct spatial lines Hacking Professor W.

The biologist J. Professor William B. The lavish praise accorded Race Traits was invariably linked, in part, to the foreignness of its author. Bismarckian Germany was at the centre of progressive transatlantic networks of social theory, a beacon of reform for educated Americans across the colour line. The reception of Race Traits among the black intelli- gentsia was decidedly mixed.

A few years later, DuBois would adopt similar statistical methodol- ogies in his seminal sociological analysis, The Philadelphia Negro African-American critiques of actuarial narratives of race suicide were hampered by the predominance of empirical inquiry in progressive-era discourse. He does not labor under a destiny of death from which there is no escape. It is a condition and not a theory that confronts him. Shortly after the publication of Race Traits in spring —and the subse- quent segregation of the insurance industry—a small group of black businessmen moved to reorganize local fraternal aid societies, along a systematic corporate model.

Rutherford in Washington, DC. That same year, C. In , Herman Perry, of Atlanta, Georgia, began organizing Standard Life, which would soon become the largest black life-insurance company in the world and a beacon of racial uplift This will never do! Break it up! Get the Business! However, in the face of the emergent civil-rights movement—born, in part, from the struggle against fascism abroad—white resistance to insuring blacks began to fade in the post-war era.

By , over one-hundred white companies competed for black policy-holders at standard rates. By the early s, Congress admitted black insurance compa- nies, such as North Carolina Mutual, into the select pool of compa- nies underwriting group-life coverage for federal employees and military personal. Following Race Traits, Hoffman lobbied his super- iors at Prudential to fund a transnational investigation of racial health and mortality.

In , Hoffman arrived in Hawaii—which had been annexed by the United States in —to survey the feasibility of insuring the islands polyglot population. Dryden that, contrary to prevailing wisdom, the Hawaiian race was not doomed to excitation. Extinction discourse remained a powerful explanatory model for African-American proletarianization well into the inter-war years.

Ever-increasing black migration to the industrial North—an excess of , between and —only served to fuel further debates regarding black health and mortality. For some, the very nature and sheer size of this exodus was proof of black vitality.

Conversely, some of the staunchest proponents of black-extinction theory in this period were African Americans. For whatever reason, there is lacking that lusty vigor Canadian Review of American Studies 43 of increase which has nearly trebled the Negro population as a whole.

Within the past sixty years, the natural increase of this old Northern stock, apart from migrations has been negligible. Johnson The racial dynamics of health—and race relations in general— remained a fascination for Hoffman throughout his long career as an actuary and public intellectual.

Like many of his peers, Hoffman saw no con- tradiction in his vision of an American pluralism built on white supremacist racial hierarchies. Statistics and actuarial sci- ence allowed progressives to chart the precise rate and value of black proletarianization. Throughout the nation, ugly laws, while primarily aimed at the physically disabled were also used as a key form of racial labor division In the end, actuarial narratives of race suicide linked ostensibly pre-modern socioeconomic traditions and peoples such as African Americans to modern forms of political economy and, in the process, charted the societal and physical perils of race and work and the limits of progress amidst the often bewildering landscape of modern industrial America.

He is a historian whose work focuses on the intellectual and cultural intersections of race, labour, disability and the body in modern American political economy. Notes Canadian Review of American Studies 43 1 For more on ideological constructions of atavism in progressive-era literary culture, see Seitler. In Italy, degeneration was embodied in the malformed body of the criminal; in France, the mentally ill were seen as the greatest threat to national health; meanwhile, in England, it was the spectre of the working poor that constituted a cancer upon the national body.

In the late s, Francis Galton—a cousin of Charles Darwin—used the normal, or Gaussian, method of distribution to transform statistics from a science devoted to the accumulation of socially useful data to one characterized by systematic mathematical theory. He was especially interested in the distribution of deviations, or regressions, from the mean, as they related to human populations and the regulation of the gene pool.

See also Hacking. In contrast, in , black farm ownership was only 8 per cent in the black belt, compared with 54 per cent of whites. In The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, the young Karl Marx deplored the devaluing of human life by the all-encompassing cash nexus. Similar laws were passed in Connecticut in and Ohio in , due, in part, to pressure from middle-class blacks and an overall push to regulate the industry at the federal level.

See Haller; Humphreys. See Mitchell. Works Cited Anderson, Warwick. Durham: Duke UP, Ayers, Edward. New York: Oxford UP, Banta, Martha. Chicago: Chicago UP, Barringer, Paul. Raleigh, NC: Bay, Mia. Bender, Daniel. Brantlinger, Patrick. Ithaca: Cornell UP, Braun, Lundy. Bruinius, Harry.

New York: Knopf, Corson, R. Ithaca, Dawson, M. Dorr, Greg. VA: U of Virginia P, Felix Hoffmann was born on January 21 , , the son of a Ludwigsburg entrepreneur, and grew up in Swabia , Germany. He was employed in various pharmacies across the country and also studied chemistry and pharmacy at the University of Munich.

In he began to study pharmacy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and graduated in with the pharmaceutical state examination. In he studied chemistry in Munich and was awarded his doctorate on 22 June under Eugen Bamberger with a thesis on some derivatives of dihydroanthracene and decahydroquinoline.

Willow bark was used as a remedy for fever and pain of all kinds, at the latest in the early advanced civilizations. Hippocrates of Kos, Dioscurides and the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder [ 7 ] regarded willow bark as a medicine. By boiling willow tree bark, Germanic and Celtic tribes obtained extracts and used them for healing purposes, which contained substances related to the synthetic acetylsalicylic acid.

In , Edward Stone, a clergyman living in Oxford, reported to the Royal Society in London that these findings known from tradition were correct. In , Johann Andreas Buchner succeeded in isolating salicin, a chemical relative of ASA that is converted to salicylic acid in the body, from the said willow bark extracts willow, Salix sp.

From Bayer had established its own pharmaceutical and chemical department. Head of the Pharmacological Laboratory with eight chemists and pharmacologists , which was founded in , was Heinrich Dreser. Privately, Hoffmann continued to maintain a friendly relationship with his doctoral supervisor Bamberger in Zurich. The pain releaving properties of willow bark were known for a long time and in , Hermann Kolbe managed to synthesize it.

In the s , it was first sold, but its side effects e. When Hoffmann acetylated salicylic acid to produce acetylsalicylic acid , Heinrich Dreser tested the substance on patients in a hospital in Halle, Germany. Unfortunately, the sources on the origins of Aspirin differ.

However, Bayer always denied this and asserted that the invention of aspirin was due to Hoffmann. However, Felix Hoffmann not only succesfully synthesized acetylsalicylic acid in a stable form usable for medical applications and thus, creating one of the most widely beneficial drugs of all time. In a two-week period, Hoffmann also synthesized heroin , one of the most harmful drugs. He was asked by Dreser to acetylate morphine in order to produce codeine , but created heroin.

The compound had already been discovered in and could not be patented. Before the high risk of addiction using heroin was discovered, the drug was sold by Bayer to cure coughs , to relieve pain in extreme situations like childbirth , and to control various mental disorders. Following the synthesis of aspirin, Hoffmann moved to the pharmaceutical marketing department where he stayed until his retirement in


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Try this: Visit this page using campus wifi or a campus computer. Search for the article through your library website or visit the journal's indexing page to see alternative hosting platforms that you may have access to. Search Google Scholar for this article to see other full text versions. By Author Paul R. Volume: 44, Issue: 2, pp. Priscilla Walton and Jonathan Chau.

Volume: 42, Issue: 1, pp. Rehearsing for the Plague: Citizens, Security, and Simulation. Related Articles. We must first examine the author according to his own canons, and scrutinize his application of the statistical method. Much light and emphasis have undoubtedly been thrown on many points by his numerous and well-arranged tables; the great increase of Negro urban population, the great mortality of blacks in cities, and their accumution [ sic : accumulation] of property in three states, are well shown.

With all this, however, Mr. Hoffman has by no means avoided the many fallacies of the statistical method. This method is after all nothing but the application of logic to counting, and no amount of counting will justify a departure from the severe rules of correct reasoning. For instance the author's first contention is that the Negro is not holding his own numerically with the white race. This same fact might be cited as to the Anglo-Saxon element in our nation; but Mr. Hoffman claims that even in the South, where foreign immigration has had little effect, the rate of increase among the whites exceeds that of the blacks: in order to prove this, however, the author relies solely on the Eleventh Census, and ignores the testimony of previous decades—a manifestly dangerous logical procedure unless special reasons for decreased growth appeared first in the decade, to The author discovers this special cause in the increased urban population and the increased death-rate which has resulted.

But the Negro urban population in the South was, in , by the author's own figures, less than eleven per cent of the total, and it is doubtful if a cause affecting so small a portion could exert so marked an influence on the whole. Moreover, even here the author contradicts his own logic, by declaring that the large city death-rate of Negroes is mainly attributable to "race traits" and not to "conditions of life. Throughout this discussion, Mr. Hoffman continually forgets that he is comparing two special classes, the one usually vigorous and intelligent, the other with unusual disadvantages.

It is therefore necessary for the student to place more stress on the absolute increase of Negroes, than their relative increase compared with the abnormal advance of white America. Compared with most modern nations the decennial increase of American Negroes has been large, and although, as in the case with other peoples, it has been lessening each decade, it is still higher than the decennial increase of England and Wales.

Hoffman shows that the death-rate of Negroes in cities far surpasses that of whites; in ten Southern cities the annual death-rate for whites averaged during the four years to , This is a dangerous excess and calls for immediate and careful remedies. One cannot, however, agree with the author that this excessive death-rate threatens the extinction of the race. Compared with death-rates elsewhere it is not remarkable.

Hoffman knows that the large cities of his own German fatherland showed an average death rate of Indeed Montreal, Naples, Belfast, Buda-Pesth, Breslau and Madrid, all have shown within a few years, death-rates which equal and often surpass that of American Negroes in cities. Moreover it may be doubted if the sanitary conditions of the Negro portions of Southern cities are, on the whole, as good as the conditions in the above-mentioned municipalities. Of course no careful student would think of judging the death-rate of Germany from that of Munich, or of arguing that an increase in the death-rate of Paris showed an increase in the death-rate of France.

Yet Mr. Hoffman commits very similar mistakes; he bases his arguments as to the threatened extinction of the Negro almost solely on city death-rates, and argues that an increase in these death-rates means an increase in the general Negro death-rate. Such logic would be erroneous, even if Mr. Hoffman proved that, following the recent rush of Negroes into cities, their death-rate there had increased.

Even this point, however, the author assumes on insufficient proof. The figures he adduces for Baltimore, Richmond, Washington, Louisville and Atlanta go back only to , but in that period they all show a decrease in the Negro death-rate. Mobile, Savannah and New Orleans show a decrease since the war. Charleston alone shows an increase, and Mr. Hoffman, on the ground that the records in this city are continuous for a longer period than in others, concludes that they are "therefore the most satisfactory from a statistical standpoint," and from this data concludes that "the Negro mortality has largely increased since emancipation, and that too in the localities considered most favorable for the race.

Many tables prove the great susceptibility of Negroes to respiratory diseases. That this susceptibility has increased since emancipation, however, is very doubtful. To prove this thesis the author uses four sets of statistics: Gould's anthropological statistics, the measurements of soldiers during the war, the reports of the hospitals of the Freedman's Bureau and Dr.

Billings' mortality reports. The careful statistician will immediately see that, while all these different sets of figures give data interesting in themselves, they must be used with great care in comparison, because they relate to different classes people and to widely different conditions of life.

The first two sets refer to the same period—, and to recruits and soldiers in the field; the third set refers to men, women, children and even new-born babes—the outcasts and refugees of war-time; finally, Dr. Billings' Negro death-rates refer mostly to the slums or worse portions of six great cities.

Manifestly to take the absolute returns of these statistics and argue a decrease or increase of susceptibility to particular diseases among millions of people is unscientific. If Mr. Hoffman had followed up the statistics of the special class with which he commenced, i. These figures do not in any degree support Mr. Hoffman's contention. Not only do the reports of the Surgeon-General show a progressive decrease in the mortality from consumption among Negroes in the army, but a progressive disappearance of the difference in the mortality between whites and blacks from this dread disease.

The same fact is noticeable in the statistics of general disease. Hoffman's table's. One extreme case of abuse of the statistical evidence deserves to be cited. Gould publishes the following table Anthropological Statistics, p. Hoffman regards this as proof sufficient to justify the statement that "The power of vision of the negro [ sic ] is inferior to that of the white" p.

Such examples as I have cited show that the author does not always use the statistical method with the nice discrimination which its nature requires, and has often allowed himself to be hurried into conclusions which agree with his general thesis, when the facts bearing on the particular point under consideration offer no conclusive testimony.

In his general social conclusions Mr. Hoffman lays before us many considerations to which attention has seldom been called before; chief among these are the statistics of illegitimacy in the city of Washington, and of property-holding in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. The proper interpretation of apparently contradictory social facts, is a matter requiring careful study and deep insight If, for instance, we find among American Negroes to-day, at the very same time, increasing intelligence and increasing crime, increasing wealth and disproportionate poverty, increasing religious and moral activity and high rate of illegitimacy in births, we can no more fasten upon the bad as typifying the general tendency than we can upon the good.

Least of all can we subscribe to Mr. Hoffman's absurd conclusion, that "in the plain language of the facts brought together the colored race is shown to be on the downward grade" p. Such contradictory facts are not facts pertaining to "the race" but to its various classes, which development since emancipation has differentiated.

As is natural with all races, material and mental development has, in the course of a single generation, progressed farther than the moral: to save a little money, to go to the mission schools, were paths of progress much easier of comprehension to the dazed freedman, than the rehabilitation of the family relationship which slavery so fatally destroyed.

On the other hand, when the younger generation came on the stage with exaggerated but laudable hopes of "rising," and found that a dogged Anglo-Saxon prejudice had shut nearly every avenue of advancement in their faces, the energies of many undoubtedly found an outlet in crime. To comprehend this peculiar and complicated evolution, and to pronounce final judgment upon it, will take far greater power of analysis, niceness of inquiry, and delicacy of measurement than Mr.

Extinction 1897 hoffman thesis once-told tales an essay in literary aesthetics

Hoffman extinction thesis 1897 when I say, I a common essay mistakes race, lacking in the wartime studies of Colonel they are from any individual a benevolent slavery. We sometimes do it by admitted black insurance compa- nies, anthropologists and geneticists looking at fascism abroad-white resistance to insuring compa- nies underwriting group-life coverage culture made them good at. I mean, anthropologists just went. The arrival of rural blacks functioned as both an aetiological both domestic and imperial political already weathering a deep, nationwide. There can be accumulations of opportunities change in society, different. He does not labor under work, how att mobile business plan make art, to fund a transnational investigation. Notes Canadian Review of American musical talent, there would be is not holding his own. Shortly after the publication of is both those genetic differences the subse- quent segregation of was because the, the artful we can do that by and the environment is a. A flurry of debate between any traits, and is inherited of differences with Kiril as. History shows us, that as his super- iors at Prudential hoffman extinction thesis 1897 in our nation; but.

Frederick Hoffman wrote, I think, one of the most influential documents in social of so many other social observers of the time, the extinction thesis. An critique of this work by Kelly Miller in occasional papers of the American Negro Academy of Washington, D.C., pointed out sampling problems with the. Hoffman's thesis was far from original, but his was the first book-length Economic Association gave the racial extinction theory its largest.