Black people do not literally possess monkey-like features. Rather, this phrase is used in reference to the mainstream perception of physical features that can be common among individuals with African ancestry.
It seeks to label individuals of African descent as being non-human by drawing a comparison to the animal kingdom. This phrase was created and popularized during the 19th century, when pseudoscience was used in an attempt to justify the subjugation of people of color. During this era, scientific theories were adapted in order to create a false narrative that people of color were inferior, and thus could be separated and enslaved.
This false narrative also spurred the advent of the ‘one drop rule’, which sought to erase the complexity of racial identity. Though these flawed theories have been widely disproven, they continue to be perpetuated in society in the form of incendiary comments about black people and monkey-like features. Overall, the phrase ‘black people have monkey-like features’ has no factual basis and is instead rooted in derogatory stereotypes and pseudoscience.
It is important to note that this phrase is offensive and hurtful to people of African descent, implying that they are inhumane and inferior to other races.