Updated: Oct 17, 2020
In previous posts, I talked about Joel Augustus Rogers’ book From Superman to Man. Sixty years after J. A. Rogers published 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro, Henry Louis Gates wrote a book of the same title as a tribute to Rogers. With pride and backed by extensive research, both books recite engaging information about Black people’s accomplishments.
Gates describes Rogers’ book:
"He delivered enlightenment and pride, steeped in historical research, to a people too long starved on the lie that they were worth nothing because their ancestors had contributed nothing to world civilization. Deep in his bones, Roger knew what a lie that was, and he used every ounce of creative energy to expose the twin fallacies on which it was based: racial purity and white supremacy."
For many people, Rogers was the first history teacher to highlight Black history. Among the people he celebrated are:
Gates describes Rogers’ gameplan: to “proudly claim for the black race any man, woman, or child, including gods and goddesses, in the pages and paintings of history who manifested traces of African or ‘Negroid’ ancestry.” Gates decided that the best way to honor Rogers was “to follow his example by taking nothing we are taught for granted; to be ever curious, open, and alive; and to take ourselves to task for being too easily impressed by what is handed to us.”
Rogers’ gameplan was to proudly claim for the black race any man, woman, or child, including gods and goddesses, in the pages and paintings of history who manifested traces of African or “Negroid”‘ ancestry.
In his version of 100 Facts, Gates focuses on many of the same people as Rogers highlighted, and provides details on others:
Other chapters answer intriguing questions such as:
Like Rogers, Gates answers these questions with enthusiasm and supported by rich detail. This treasure trove of information about Black history is an essential addition to any library.
Other Posts in this Series: