A 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.