With these assertions, Rogers was also highlighting the absurdity of racial divisions. The porter's arguments and theories are pulled from a plethora of sources, classical and contemporary, and run the gamut from history and anthropology to biology. Rogers claimed to have had a "good basic education". He thought that color prejudice was used as a rationale for domination, subjugation and warfare. His parents could afford to give Rogers and his ten siblings only a rudimentary education, but stressed the importance of learning.
He publicized the great black civilizations that had flourished in Africa during antiquity. His scholarship was meant to shed light on hitherto unexamined areas of Africana history, as well as combat the stereotypes of inferiority that were attributed to black people. He was there during the Harlem Renaissance , a flowering of African-American artistic and intellectual life in numerous fields. The book reveals Rogers' disillusion with Christianity. Philosophy and viewpoint[ edit ] Rogers was a meticulous researcher, astute scholar and concise writer. He believed that such differences between groups were often attributed primarily to "physical" differences such as race. He used what he discovered in his research as a tool to express his humanist beliefs, and to illustrate the unity of humanity. Rogers addresses issues such as the lack of scientific support for the idea of race, the lack of black history being told from a black person's perspective, and the fact of intermarriage and unions among peoples throughout history. Religion is the single most fruitful medium for exploiting this already exploited group. Scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This theory presented history, specifically black history, as a mural of achievements by prominent black people. He thought that color prejudice was used as a rationale for domination, subjugation and warfare. Rogers articulated ideas about race that were informed by anthropology and biology, rather than social convention. He wrote for a variety of other black newspapers and journals: Take the world but give me Jesus, and the white man strikes an eager bargain with him He was trying to show that there is nothing innate about color prejudice; that there is no natural distaste for darker skin by lighter-skinned people; and that there is no natural aversion for lighter skin by darker-skinned people. In the s, Rogers worked as a journalist on the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Enterprise, and he served as the first black foreign correspondent from the United States. He became a naturalized citizen in and lived in New York most of his life. Even those historians and anthropologists who are aware of Rogers' self-published and popular scholarly works tend only to remember him for the biographical portraits of African and African American leaders and his investigations of the history of "sex and race" in antiquity and in the modern era. All other races are their descendants to greater or lesser degrees. He was one of the greatest popularizers of African history in the twentieth century. His job of Pullman porter allowed him to travel and observe a wide range of people. Rogers was self-financed, self-educated, and self-published. He believed that it uplifted people regardless of their race or social background. From "Superman" to Man[ edit ] Rogers' first book From "Superman" to Man, self-published in , attacked notions of African inferiority. He self-published the results of his research in several books. The central plot revolves around a debate between a Pullman porter and a white racist Southern politician.
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From Superman to Man - J. A. Rogers
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