A strong supporter of the theory of evolution, English Biologist Thomas Huxley "Darwin's Bulldog", attempted in 1870 to classify the human races. His final list was something like this :
He had further subdivided the Mangoloids into 3 groups A, B and C. Huxley saw "Caucasian" as being the Xanthochroi and Melanochroi taken together and absurd. Despite that in 1939, American anthropologist Carleton S. Coon defined the Caucasoid group to encompass the North African and Middle eastern peoples, his final groupings were :
In recognition of the negative role played by scientific racist theories on Hitler's Nazi policies and eugenics (the forced sterilisation and killing of people seen as unworthy of life) programme before and during the 2nd World War , the United Nations suggested speaking of "ethnic groups" as opposed to race.
Heritage on the other hand refers to something which is inherited from one's ancestors and has several different senses such as cultural, traditional, birthright and kinship. Since sometimes religious, cultural, social, national, ethnic, linguistic, genetic, geographical and anatomical groups are normally regarded as 'races', many of us will sometimes use the terms race and heritage interchangeably though race would strictly be a subdivision of heritage. It is conceivably be possible to be of the same race but of different heritage.
In terms of this project we will mainly talking about inter-racial relationships and multi-racial heritages though we may find ourselves on occasion touching on the wider meaning of heritage. Anthropology and Genetics aside, in day to day living our racial definitions would roughly be :
- White - European origin including the Mediterraneans and the Scandinavians and even some of the Inuit (Eskimo) peoples
- Black - African of Bantu, San, Non Arabic West African, West Indian/Caribbean and African American (both definitions fraught). Do we include Aborigines in this definition? What about Huxley's Negritoes race - the pygmy type people of the Far East?
- Arab - Middle Eastern of Arabic origin including the Jews
- Indian/Asian - Indian sub-continent including Pakistan, Bangladesh and some indian ocean islands such as Sri Lanka - may occasionally include Iranians who also may be regarded Arab
- Chinese/Oriental Asian - including the Japanese and the Koreans and the Mongolian.
- Polynesian - Southern Far East, Indonesia maybe, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
- Native Americans - as in the natives groups of the Americas
- Latin Americans - The long term result of wide spread inter-racial mixing between the Europeans and the Native Americans????
It is recognised that different counties may have slightly different uses for some of the terms, for example, the Americans tend to use Asian to describe Oriental Asians where in the UK it tends to relate to the Indian sub-continent Asians.
Below are some links to Wikipedia articles on Race and Heritage if you want to learn a bit more about the subjects.
1. Cover off the ethnicity angle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group (added 06/09/2010)