AJPA DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22162
Two faces of Earnest A. Hooton
The American Anthropological Association's multimedia project, “Race: Are We So Different?” alleges that Earnest A. Hooton (1887–1954) of Harvard University was a racist eugenicist who “perhaps more than any other scientist of his time… did more to establish racial stereotypes…” and infers racism from his having sat on a National Research Council Committee on the Negro in the 1920s. I take issue with this perspective to argue against Hooton as a racist by exploring Hooton's relationship with African American students, particularly Caroline Bond Day, and with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People when it awarded a medal to Charles R. Drew, M.D. In the heyday of eugenics, Hooton was an atypical eugenicist in espousing a resolutely nonracial view of the woes of humankind perpetuated by what he considered the biologically unfit. As eugenics and Nazism became conflated in the late 1930s, Hooton hewed to a path that was more antiracist than many of his anthropological colleagues and publicly disputed Nazi racial ideology. Am J Phys Anthropol 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.