Melanin theory is an ideology based on the properties of melanin, the primary determinant of skin color in humans. Melanin theory argues that higher levels of melanin are directly correlated with increased intelligence, creativity, physical prowess and supernatural abilities.
According to Bernard Ortiz De Montellano of Wayne State University, "The alleged properties of melanin, mostly unsupported, irrelevant, or distortions of the scientific literature, are (...) used to justify Afrocentric assertions. One of the most common is that humans evolved as blacks in Africa, and that whites are mutants (albinos, or melanin recessives)". The melanin hypothesis was supported by Leonard Jeffries, who according to Time magazine, believes that "melanin, the dark skin pigment, gives blacks intellectual and physical superiority over whites".
In popular culture
In 2006, the views of adherents and critics of melanin theory were dramatized in Cassandra Medley's play, Relativity.
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- Neil Genzlinger, "Science and Race Issues Clash in Cassandra Medley's 'Relativity'", The New York Times, May 2, 2006