It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: all of the significant evolution in our species occurred in populations with brown and black skins living in Africa. At the beginning of hominid evolution five million years ago, our ape-like ancestors had dark skin just like chimpanzees and gorillas. When modern Homo sapiens evolved a hundred thousand years ago, we still had


dark skins. When brain sizes tripled, they tripled in Africans. When sexual choice shaped human nature, it shaped Africans. When language, music, and art evolved, they evolved in Africans. Lighter skins evolved in some European and Asian populations long after the human mind evolved its present capacities.

The skin color of our ancestors does not have much scientific importance. But it does have a political importance given the persistence of anti-black racism. I think that a powerful antidote to such racism is the realization that the human mind is a product of black African females favoring intelligence, kindness, creativity, and articulate language in black African males, and vice versa. Afrocentrism is an appropriate attitude to take when we are thinking about human evolution.

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