The Brain of the American Negro
Burt Green Wilder, 1909
Burt Green Wilder (1841–1925) was an eminent American anatomist
and brain collector. During the American Civil War, Wilder –
who was white – served as a surgeon in the 55th Massachusetts
Infantry, a black regiment. Inspired by his comrades, he became an
advocate for African-American civil rights. He presented this paper
to the First National Negro Conference in New York in 1909.
Although Wilder's methodology may now seem offensive, many of the
conference resolutions – equal opportunities and spending on state
schools – still resonate.