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Book Reviews
March 1950

Pedigrees of Negro Families.

Author Affiliations
 

By R. Ruggles Gates, F.R.S. Price, $5.50. Pp. 267, with 245 figures. The Blakiston Company, 102 Walnut St., Philadelphia 5, 1949.

Am J Dis Child. 1950;79(3):607-608. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1950.04040010620019

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Abstract

From the study of the pedigrees of slightly more than 200 families, the author concludes, in the light of the work of others, that "inheritance in the Negro race is nowise different from that in other races," a finding hardly startling in 1949. The families are mainly from the United States, but also from Canada, various parts of the West Indies and British Guinea. Hence they represent considerable and varying admixture, as the data themselves show. The author's blanket use of the terms "Negro" and "race" is thus scientifically equivocal. It merely follows that social usage which would designate as a Negro the possessor of a single Negroid gene or identifiable physical character.

How the "Negroidness" of a gene might be determined is itself a problem. Some geneticists, including Dr. Gates, would have us believe that a character so remote from racially diagnostic features as the possession of sickle-shaped red

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