Part 1: Eugenics and Heredity
Black and white photograph of the Forestry Hall of the American Museum of Natural History temporarily converted into the Eugenics Hall at the Second International Congress of Eugenics. The image is looking down the hall, with exhibits on the left and right side. At the top of the frame, a sign appears to note that the exhibition will be open from September to October. The ceiling is segmented with overhead lights and columns running down to the floor at regular intervals across the space. Each portion of the exhibition has panels, photographs, and documents to review that are attached to the wall. There also appears to be materials displayed on tables along the edges and also in display cases at the center of the room.

“Eugenics is based primarily upon the facts of heredity, and is properly defined as “The science of the improvement of the human race by better breeding,” or as “The study of those agencies under social control which may improve or impair the qualities of future generations either mentally or physically, ” or “The conscious (as opposed to the instinctive) self-direction of human evolution.”

Human eugenics is not stock breeding, but its racial progress depends upon such social laws and customs as will direct mate selection along lines which will produce offspring of the most highly talented and fertile nature.”

LEFT: Black and white photograph of two white women on a black placard with a description underneath. The women are standing in front of what appears to be a telephone switchboard in the back of the room. There is hardwood flooring and a window to the right side of the image, with light streaming in over a radiator. The women are facing forward with slight smiles on their faces.

The woman to the left is tall and has her light hair pulled back. She is wearing a dark top with a tied bow at the neckline and a black belt with a bow as well. Her skirt is lighter in color, has multiple layers with fringe, and is paired with white shoes. The woman on the right comes up to shoulder height and has darker hair. She is wearing opposite colors for her outfit, with a white top and ruffles at the neckline. Her dark skirt is paired with black shoes. Both women wear jewelry like a necklace and watch.

The description underneath the photograph reads: “INHERITANCE IN MAN. In man, shortness is dominant to tallness. Nordic: tall, blond, light-haired, blue-eyed. Mediterranean: short, brunette, dark-haired, brown-eyed.”

RIGHT: A chart labelled “The Chromosomes of Man”. Below the title are two rows with two diagrams each, illustrating two sets of chromosomes arranged in a circular manner. The set on the bottom-left is more dispersed and oval shaped In between the two diagrams per row are two labels. The top says “White.” The bottom says “Negro.” The diagrams are also assigned a number from 1 to 4 which appears below each diagram. The order goes left to right and top to bottom. Below these are two additional diagrams showing chromosomes arranged in a row. The shapes of the chromosomes are slightly different in each row with the first chromosomes on the top row being larger and more curved. The top says “White” above and is labelled 5 below while the bottom says “Negro” and is labelled 6 below.
OPPOSITION TO EUGENICAL ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HEREDITY

No one denies great differences of gift, capacity and attainment among individuals of all races, but the voice of science, religion and practical politics is one in denying the God-appointed existence of super-races, or of races naturally and inevitably and eternally inferior. … The insidious and dishonorable propaganda, which, for selfish ends, so distorts and denies facts as to represent the advancement and development of certain races of men as impossible and undesirable, should be met with widespread dissemination of the truth. 

Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Director of Publicity and Research, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, “Manifesto of the Second Pan African Congress,” The Crisis (November, 1921), p. 7. [DuBois was in Europe during the Second Congress delivering the Manifesto of the Second Pan African Congress to imperialist monarchs and statesmen.]
A black and white portrait photograph of American sociologist and historian W. E. B. Du Bois, a light-skinned Black man who appears to be in his 30s. Based on the quality of the photo and Du Bois’ clothing, the image was likely produced in the early 1900s. Du Bois faces the camera, looking just slightly to the right of the frame. His face is serious. His dark facial hair is in the style of a goatee: he wears a sculpted mustache whose tips turn upwards, and he has a triangular patch of hair beneath his mouth. Du Bois wears a three-piece dark suit with a white shirt and dark floppy necktie tucked down into his vest. He is bald on the top of his head, with short dark hair hugging the sides of his head. His ears stick out slightly.
Herbert Spencer Jennings, Professor of Zoology, Johns Hopkins University, “Heredity and Environment,” Scientific Monthly (September 1924), pp. 237.) [Jennings attended the Second Congress.]

It is particularly in connection with racial questions in man that there has been a great throwing about of false biology. Heredity is stressed as all-powerful; environment as almost powerless: a vicious fallacy, not supported by the results of investigation. We are warned not to admit to America certain peoples now differing from ourselves on the basis of the resounding assertion that biology informs us that the environment can bring out nothing whatever but the hereditary characters. Such an assertion is perfectly empty and idle.

(Herbert Spencer Jennings, Professor of Zoology, Johns Hopkins University, Prometheus; or Biology and the Advancement of Man (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1925), pp. 65-66.)