TIL Samuel Stanhope Smith had a theory that Africans were darker because they were covered in small freckles that when combined made a “universal freckle”

Read more: https://exhibits.stanford.edu/american-enlightenment/feature/inventing-the-idea-of-race

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote

8 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. Well, it’s the same kind of pigment in both cases, so it’s kinda true. I guess you can look at it as either freckes are dark skin that only happens temporarily in spots after sun exposure; or dark skin is a permanent all-over freckling independent of the sun.

  2. I guess he’s never seen mixed race people with one parent being black. If that theory is true then the mixed race individual would probably have a lot of freckles on top other their other parents skin colour.

  3. I’m white with French, Scottish, Irish and Norwegian ancestry. This phenomenon happens to me occasionally in the summer. My freckles join up and I get the semblance of a tan. 🙂

  4. I also have a theory that hairless blacks evolved out of hairless gingers. But realise that it’s just because that would follow not necessarily because it’s true.

    Afro haired people have least hair.

    Then its gingers.

    Then its brown and other black haired people.

    Then its blondes (who are the hairiest and so need the least melanin to counter the lack of hair protection available to the skin).

    The gingers are the phenotype that connects the two polarities of hairy and hairless and so would be the source of both.

  5. This happens to my dad. He’s a ginger who doesn’t tan. But in the summer his arm freckles all merge into a pseudo-tan. Then he goes back to just freckled in the winter

Leave a Reply