Racism: A History

Racism: A History

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Ratings: 7.49/10 from 94 users.

Racism: A HistoryA documentary which is exploring the impact of racism on a global scale, as part of the season of programmes marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. Beginning by assessing the implications of the relationship between Europe, Africa and the Americas in the 15th century, it considers how racist ideas and practices developed in key religious and secular institutions, and how they showed up in writings by European philosophers Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.

Looking at Scientific Racism, invented during the 19th century, an ideology that drew on now discredited practices such as phrenology and provided an ideological justification for racism and slavery. These theories ultimately led to eugenics and Nazi racial policies of the master race. Some upsetting scenes.

The third and final episode of Racism: A History examines the impact of racism in the 20th Century. By 1900, European colonial expansion had reached deep into the heart of Africa. Under the rule of King Leopold II, The Belgian Congo was turned into a vast rubber plantation. Men, women and children who failed to gather their latex quotas would have their limbs dismembered. The country became the scene of one of the century’s greatest racial genocides, as an estimated 10 million Africans perished under colonial rule. Contains scenes which some viewers may find disturbing.

Episodes included: 1. The Color of Money, 2. Fatal Impact, and 3. A Savage Legacy.

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1 year ago

Was this picture taken in the state of Kentucky

3 years ago

Whites have been and are a demented people. Imagine a world where they came to learn and teach and left and not to conquer and rule. Humanity would still be alive

Karen McMichael
4 years ago

I agree on something malcomx explains when he went to prison he did not remember his prison #'s. There's alot of men with Malcolm x #'s.

5 years ago

Claiming that whites have a feeling of superiority is racist. Racism goes way back.

Thomas Murray
6 years ago

ay yo light the bifta

Jon Stewart
7 years ago

One of the finest documentaries ever made. It has real intellectual heft and a powerful poetic style. The reason why it only achieves 7 out of 10 are because people shy away from its searing truth.

There are those who will not accept any of this has happened because they are not fair minded and there are those who believe they are fair minded and simply can't believe that these events were not unusual but were a product of how are economy was run in the centuries before the industrial revolution.

A tour de force there has been nothing ever like it. For those who are unsure about watching it do so you will be richly rewarded by this epic piece of poetic history.

7 years ago

throughout the entire documentary, I've seen only one group of people who have acted uncivilized. Without people of color this group would not survive.

Ronald bessard
8 years ago

I admire your efforts to expose the horrorsof the slave trade. But you failed to mention the roll the Dutch Jews played In the slave trade . We know about the roll the catholic played but your deliberate exclusion of the jews is shameful.. You hypocrites.

8 years ago

Very good and sad

8 years ago

Socialism and not capitalism forced racism issues. America, which on paper is still capitalist, had to undergo a Civil War to correct racial suppression. Perhaps, the steady supply of new migrants from the Old World prolonged the social struggle that the American Civil War politics hoped to change.

In contrast, NAZI socialism is all about racial supremacy. However, this is mainly due to the failure of the politicians to learn the lessons that they confuse as Biblical fact. Yup, Hitler was a weak scholar and the NAZI party enacted policies based on his poor ideas that emulate the disobedience of Israel.

Hitler wanted to supplant the Jews and become the next Master Race, based on the final blessing of Isaac to his sons. Hitler, however, failed to understand that the Jews were not Israel; Jews are from the breakaway kingdom of Judea that rebelled against Israel, the original kingdom that peaked under Solomon the wise.

King Solomon was never racist. He was in fact the opposite and indiscriminately married foreigners from different places / races. The Israel society that King Solomon left was multi-racial and this was what the Jews resented, leading to the breakaway state.

For Germany to allow Hitler and NAZI politics to spread betrays the failure of German society to stay on course from its determination to keep faithful. The world ought to thank Germans for the first printing press which mass produced the Holy Bible; It was also the first to protest against unfaithful practices of the Catholic Church. Yet Germany permitted the Nazi to lead many into following erroneous ideas of Scriptures and complete disobedience of the Word.

St Sp
9 years ago

Capitalism by any other name is still capitalism, The motivating factor here is capitalism and the unseen hand of the market and economy that has skewed the view of our fellow man.

ettore nobis
9 years ago

Discussing racism is impossible to forget of Sweden. If not the cradle of racism for sure the greenhouse of it. The cuntry that inspired nazi racism and that collaboreted with them untill 1944. In Sweden the first national institute for racial biology was grounded in 1921.

Hamilton Barrett
9 years ago

Why not also include the decades when the north African Muslims enslaved a million Europeans, a problem that was not heading toward a resolution until the founding of the US Navy, And what happened to any discussion of indentured servants, when poorer Whites from such places as Ireland (who certainly did not practice slavery) were often treated even worse than a favorite slave. Check out 'The Pioneer Little Europe' prospectus, because only Whites are attempting to compete without the benefit of a community and its clout in today's world

10 years ago

I'd say add to every University level social sciences class. Excellent representation and devastating. I did study human relations and racism in college and have found it extremely frustrating at how little honest review we have on the subject. I like the ideas of the birth of racism, and look at prior genocide based on factors other then race. I will watch this again. Thank you.

Anthony Mustacich
10 years ago

It is clear from the video that white supremacy as an ideology emerged as a product of conquest, genocide, colonialism, and the African slave trade. All of these are in fact interrelated and inextricably linked to capitalism. The system of capitalism was built in Western Europe through the conquest of the Americas, the genocide of indigenous nations, colonialism, African slavery, and neo-colonialism in the modern era. Thus, capitalism has been a system of white supremacy from its very inception.

10 years ago

How can I buy these three videos?

11 years ago

one word rwanda- equals white belgian colonialists....and greedy whit southafrica business men......behind every attrocity committed is a white man or whie owned corporation.......thats just the reality......slavery/colonisation to present day economic and institutionaled rascism.....we need a colourlest people revolution for love and peace and harmony and abolish money..

11 years ago

Watched the full documentary. and my gut reaction is disgusting to know how the so called “fully evolved civilized humans” have executed such heinous crimes against humanity to satisfy their unsatisfactory soul for money, power, greed… by imposing their racist theories. what went wrong in the brains of the so called “superior race” during the evolution process and they became so barbarous! is there any study done of the brain of the so called “superior race” for their barbarism? and what kind of “soul” they were possessed with???
This is an excellent documentary with analysis to understand how racism originated and how and why slavery was practiced. well, even today racism and slavery is very much practiced in various forms! Thanks for uploading the documentary, I am sure this is awakening the present generation to challenge these racist theories!

11 years ago

wow im a so called "black" male and this video shows me who the real savages are.... to think that ur race or class is better than another is complete absent mindedness. and it is still going on today even if everone thinks this war is so called "over" the rich are still ruling the poor and the so called "whites" are trying to exteminate the "blacks".....

11 years ago

for some reason i love this documentary. i am going to watch it again for about the third time.

i wish i could find a perfect quality dvd version of it.

11 years ago

Only an lazy evil,barbaric demon would do something so wicked to another human that the Heavenly Father created!What would Jesus say???

Sam pender
11 years ago

In Australia Aboriginal people still suffer under race based policys, and yes some how they have fooled the public into thinking removing human rights is in some way suposed to help empower them, things wont change when its the same system today that inflicted all the past atrocitys, they are good at blaming Aboriginals for the guilt white australians created themselfs, In australia we are struggling to get the public to vote for the removal of race descrimination in our constitution, the government have a 100% failure rate in planning and implementation of all programs yet say Aboriginals are failures, give them the chance to fail before calling them failures, we have an Aboriginal industry in Australia with thousands and thousands of non Aboriginal people employed to implement the failed programs, it has progressed to a stage there are to many non Aborignals employed to scale back or we will have an unemployment crisis, if Aboriginals had the chance to control their own lifes and started to fix the problems made by non Aborignals the unemployment rate would sky rocket, I tend to believe this is a major reason why government and society wont allow Aboriginal Australians even one chance at self determination, if Aboriginals are raised from the bottom society we will need to replace those at the bottom, the assimilation process in Australia qualifys as genocide, forced off their land, forced to stop teaching languages, forced to join the mainstream to benefit some rich guy who doesnt give a crap, more power to them for not conforming to an obviously backward system

11 years ago

Im australian and i feel proud of my heritage , having guilt over our heads is not helpful but taking responsibility to ensure these atrocities do not happen again is the only way towards a truly equal society for all , blacks , whites , women and men included. Not all aboriginal people are peaceful just as not all whites are racists , you cannot and should not judge the entire race by the actions of their forefathers no matter which race you are referring to. But all in all a fabulous documentary with some brillient resources to reference if you contact the bbc they will give you the people to contact for further research :) thanks Top Docs !

11 years ago

Just watched parts 1 & 2 of this incredible doco.
It reduced me to tears.
I am very ashamed of so called 'white culture', which is nothing more than a history of racism.
I live in Australia, BTw -and before any other white Australians want to jump in and criticise me,
- let me just say - F*CK YOU - learn YOUR history.
About to watch part 3, and I am not expecting a happy ending..

11 years ago

I think that there is an unfair mis-characterization of the minstrel show in this doc. Minstrel shows were the most popular form of entertainment at the time. Blacks and whites played the same music and cultural exchange occurred. Whites and blacks had to adopt blackface to play the music that they loved in public. There is no doubt that society was divided along racial lines, but many white musicians dedicated themselves to learning so-called black music, paying tribute to it.

12 years ago

comment 2-re part 2

Yes terrible-but -the enslavery is today used by 'persons' such as British Diane Abbott (avowed Jamaican or Bahamian-or one of those islands out yonder-for her)
Diane Abbott- MP-or MEP -or both---(plus her media 'work' payments which are never inconsiderable)-to do what? You guessed it..to add to her bank balance and curiously -such is society today----her re-election.

The aforementioned Ms Abbot-always aligns herself -with-her paymasters

Nazim Uddin
12 years ago

Now racists scums are taking on Muslims.....

jason mark baxter
12 years ago

Brilliant Series , good starting place on this subject.

sin nombre
12 years ago

A very eye opening documentary for those who are blind to what was and still is a major part of our society. It's sad how history has played out for those who gave them the civilisation

12 years ago

This makes me sick to my stomach. My poor ancestors.

12 years ago

Should be part of school curriculum all over the world.
It was really difficult, but unfortunately, I could not watch this movie without crying.
And most of all, because, such injustices still continue in the world today.

12 years ago

racism the blody human nature is that what every humanbeing might be thinking of while some one watch this documantry or the war begins in any part of the world? i asked my self this morning before watching this documantry because i ask my self every day. i have been living in europe from more than 8 eyears an i know what does it realy means, and i think this is not in the humane nature it is created either by governments or powerfull full individuals, and it is a big sign of human backwardness and savegery.

12 years ago

One should always maintain perspective when watching a video like this. For example, arabs enslaved 4 million whites and 17 million blacks over a period of several hundred years. Japanese imperialists murdered 25 million Chinese civilians during WW2. Then Chinese Communists turned around and murdered another 60 million of their own people. But the Islamic Moguls of India take the prize -- they murdered over 80 million hindus over a period of a couple hundred years. And many of the worst human rights abuses today are being committed by blacks in Africa -- including slavery and genocide. None of this is to say any group is better or worse than another. But that every group has members who have done bad things at one time or another. And we should all be concerned by those who would turn human rights tragedy into a pissing contest. Because those are the kind of people most likely to support the next human rights tragedy.

D. lm
12 years ago

this documentary tells the truth about our every day lives, alot of information that some people dont want you to know is very important that our youth know this so that they have a better understanding on why theres so much uniquality on our society...

None Ya
12 years ago

Most liberals mistake racism for reality.

12 years ago

Racism is very much alive and "thriving" today. The same mechanisms of oppression and division are still present. There's still the same ill wind blowing everywhere, making sure it will all continue.

It's horrible how easy it is to rationalize the worst atrocities.

12 years ago

holy s@#$,people need to know the real history of this,and if your still racist after watching this you are truly evil.

12 years ago

Kibbe G,

I find Europeans are in denial about racism that exists in your society as well. Considering your continent has an incredible attachment to the Americas and the history of racism, don't be so smug. Events going on in Europe look frightening, to be honest.

I am not saying racism isn't an issue in America, of course it is, and a major one at that, but stop denying that it doesn't exist or Europeans are somehow clean of it. A majority of the worst genocides in the last 100 years were perpetrated by Europeans.

12 years ago

Ironically, it wasn't the weakness of Africans, but the strength of them that attracted European slavers. It really was by process of elimination and Indigenous people often escaped slavery because they knew the land so well.

Africans were tough, strong, hard working, mostly farmers, immune to Old and New world diseases and the political situation in Western Africa at the time was chaotic. Also, slavery has been around forever, up until the 1900's it was universally recognized as normal.

I think what made the Atlantic trade so unique is how race was so important to justifying it. Other civilizations had diverse populations of slave and generally treated them better than Europeans did. They exclusively took Africans and used them, which obviously gave them a superiority complex.

It's amazing, but obvious that this still defines Euro-African relations today.

13 years ago

Brad reynolds
if after watching this documentary you could still use the word ungrateful to describe people oppressed over centuries then i think the people who need civilization forced upon them will be your kind.
The truth hurts wether you recomend this documetary or not doesn't change the truth it presents to the viewers.

This is quite inspiring, it really should be introduced into modern history class not just in the US but across the globe espescially in africa, so the present african generation can understand the frame of mind of europeans and americans and not get carried away by the sentiments.

A. T. Heist
13 years ago

Holy F@#$ white people! "Cops" feature blacks but, whites have been f@#$%&* over others in the world for, what seems like forever! God DAMN....and the production, I wager, is funded by mostly if not completely by white folks. (I think I just made a racist assumption).

The bleeding intro symbolizes racism being in the blood.

This digs deep, I'm learning so much.

13 years ago

this should be standard classroom material for all schools in the USA, this is a perfect example of learning the past... by an in depth look at race theory and the practice of it this doc can awake new generations to move on

13 years ago

The Elite Institutions will always sustain, reflect and protect racism.

Kibbe G
13 years ago

brad reynolds,

History is construct. It mean it's rewritten and reinterpreted all the time. Why do you think one of the biggest taboos during slavery was learning slaves to read and write? Why do you think Alex Haleys "Roots" became so famous and in many ways you probably can't imagine very important? And finally why do you think this doc. upset you so much, it's hard to look in the mirror when you don't like what you see, it's easier to blame and point fingers rather than learn and rethink, is it not?

Kibbe G
13 years ago


What do you mean by the last sentence? I'm not american but I'e been to America and I'm certain that americans have more to gain from it than for instace Europians.

Kibbe G
13 years ago


Look up the etymology of the word slave and things might become clearer.

13 years ago

The word ''slave'' originated from slavic and these are people who've been captured on the eastern frontier... What a nonsense!!! It originated from sclavus, which is latin for slave. It would be funny if the people (savic) would call themselves slaves, wouldn't it? Because, there are countries like Slovakia, Slovenia, triebs, regions in the slavic teritories. They would be very selfunderestimating to call themselves slaves... The doc itself is an interesting work, lots of information for someone who's not American.

13 years ago

behind the scenes stories from western ''civilization'',shocking,disgusting....everyone describing himself as a human being should watch this doc..no obligation for the rest(i mean racists the beasts)...and i hope raising awareness about the issue could have help in preventing future atrocities..

13 years ago

Slavery and racism did not start with the British empire or the Spanish; they have existed for as long as humanity has been around. I would not recommend this documentary; it's no good.

13 years ago

I think the documentary is incomplete. They did not mention anything about the racist movements that took place against southern Europeans such as Italians and Portuguese people in the early 1900s in the US. They were considered inferior and hence Italians and southern European people were not allowed to immigrate to the US. Canada had also adopted this law against the Italians.