Monday, November 05, 2007

Joel Augustus Rogers - Humanist

Joel Augustus Rogers (September 6, 1880 (some sources say 1883) — March 26, 1966) author, journalist, historian was born in Negril, Jamaica. Although Rogers was the son of a minister and a school teacher, his parents were not able to afford to give Rogers, or his ten siblings, more than a rudimentary education. Rogers immigrated to the United States in 1906. Rogers lived most of his life in Harlem, but also lived in Chicago for some time. While Rogers was in Chicago he worked as a Pullman porter. The job of Pullman Porter allowed Rogers to travel and observe people. Through this travel Rogers was able to increase his appetite for knowledge, utilizing various libraries in the cities that he visited. This appetite for knowledge would eventually be expressed in Rogers' numerous self-published writings.

Rogers' first book, From "Superman" to Man, self-published in (1917), attacked notions of African inferiority. From Superman to Man is a polemic against the ignorance that fuels racism. Its very title is an ironic twist on both George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman and Nietzsche’s idea of the “Superman.” The central plot revolves around a debate between a Pullman porter and a white racist, Southern politician. In essence, the porter is Roger’s (who worked as a Pullman porter while he lived in Chicago) alter ego. Rogers used this debate to air many of his personal philosophies and to debunk the heinous stereotypes about black people and white racial superiority. The porter’s arguments and theories are pulled from a plethora of sources, classical and contemporary, and run the gamut from history, anthropology to biology. Like the novel’s protagonist, Rogers would devote his professional life to such interdisciplinary research. Many of the ideas that permeated Rogers’ later work can be seen germinating in From Superman to Man. Rogers addresses issues such as: the lack of scientific support for the idea of race, black historical vindicationism, and the proliferation of miscegenation throughout history. All of these ideas became focal points for his later writing.

In the 1920's he worked as a journalist on the Pittsburgh Courier, the Chicago Enterprise and was a sub-editor of Marcus Garvey's short-lived Daily Negro Times. He was a newspaper correspondent covering such notable events as the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (for the New York Amsterdam News); he wrote for various black newspapers (Crisis, American Mercury, The Messenger, the Negro World and Survey Graphic) and served as the only black war correspondent during World War II. Thus, the diversity of his positions proved advantageous for him as he sought to highlight African participation in a global context.

Rogers was a meticulous researcher, astute scholar and very concise writer. He traveled tirelessly on his quest for knowledge which often took him directly to the source for information for his books. While traveling in Europe he frequented libraries, museums, castles and many places of interest that would help to prove Africans had an ancestry and history that the world could and should be proud of. He challenged the biased viewpoint of Eurocentric historians and anthropologists. Rogers spent a lifetime gathering what he called “the bran of history”. The bran of history was the uncollected, unexamined history of the world and for him it was the history of black people. Rogers intended that these neglected parts of history would one day be added to the mainstream body of Western history. He saw black inclusion in white historical discourses as helping to bridge racial divides. The scholarship that Rogers produced was meant to shed light on hitherto unexamined areas of Africana history. This historical goal made Rogers a vindicationist scholar. Vindicationist history attempted to combat the stereotypes of inferiority that often surround black people in history.

Rogers proved that color of skin is not what determines intellectual genius and that Africans have contributed much more to the world than what was previously stated. As a scholar, Rogers was a proponent of the fact that great, black civilizations had flourished in Africa during antiquity. He devoted his scholarship to vindicating historically a place for Africana people within Western history. According to Rogers, many ancient African civilizations had been primal molders of Western civilization and culture. Rogers’ work was also concerned with "the Great Black Man" theory of history. The “Great Black Man” theory shows history, specifically black history, as a mural of achievements by prominent black people throughout history. Rogers devoted a significant amount of his professional life to unearthing facts about people of African ancestry. He intended these facts to be a refutation of contemporary racist beliefs about the inferiority of blacks. Books such as 100 Amazing Facts about the Negro, Sex and Race, and The World’s Great Men of Color all describe remarkable black people throughout the ages and cite significant achievements of the black genius.

Rogers’ theories about race, sex and color can be found in the books Nature Knows No Color-Line, World’s Great Men of Color and the pamphlet Five Negro Presidents all of which deal with the ideas of race, sex and color. Within these works, Rogers questions the concept of race, the origins of racial differentiation and the root of the “color problem.” Rogers felt that the “color problem” was that color [race] was used as social, political and economic determining factors. Rogers astutely surmised that a large percentage of ethnic differences were the result of sociological factors. However, in Rogers’ opinion, often the differences between groups were attributed primarily to physical differences, i.e. color [race]. Rogers deals with the themes of race and sex in the eponymous Race and Sex and also in Nature Knows No Color-Line. Rogers’ research in these tomes is dedicated to examining miscegenation and how that has left a black “strain” in Europe and the Americas since the dawn of time. In Nature Knows No Color-Line, Rogers examines the origins of racial hierarchy and the color problem. Rogers states that the origins of the race problem had never been adequately examined or discussed. Rogers believed that color prejudice generally evolved from issues of domination and power between two physiologically different groups. According to Rogers, color prejudice was a rationale for domination, subjugation and warfare. Societies evolved these mythologies and prejudices in order to pursue their own interests at the expense of other groups. Rogers was trying to show that there is nothing innate about color prejudice. There is no natural distaste for darker skin by lighter-skinned people. Likewise, there is no natural aversion for lighter skin by darker-skinned people.

With these assertions, Rogers was attempting to point out the absurdity of racial divisions. Rogers' belief in one race, humanity, precluded the idea of several different ethnic races. In this, Rogers was a humanist. Rogers used vindicationist history as a tool to bolster his ideas about humanism. Rogers used his scholarship to prove his underlying humanistic thesis: that people were one large family without racial boundaries.

Rogers was self-financed, self educated, self-published. While it is easy to look at Rogers' lack of a formal education as a hindrance to producing scholarly work, it is also quite probable that Rogers' self-taught knowledge freed him from many academic and methodological restrictions thereby allowing him to tackle the difficult racial issues with which he dealt. Rogers’ autodidactism allowed his research to branch organically into various disciplines that other more formally educated scholars might have been loath to attempt. Thus, Rogers’ scholarship incorporates elements of history, anthropology, art history, sociology and archaeology. His works are complete with detailed references. He documenting of his work to encourage scrutiny of his facts are a testament to his due diligence, work ethic and commitment to not only African people, but the world, its history and culture.

Rogers was responsible for bringing many facets of contributionist black history to light, such as the black heritage of figures like Aleksandr Pushkin or the three generations of Dumas (Alexandre Dumas, Père, Alexandre Dumas, Fils and Thomas-Alexandre Dumas) . More importantly, Rogers clearly articulated his ideas about race that were informed by anthropology and biology, rather than social convention. However, Rogers’ most important contribution to black history was not in his vindicationism. Rogers’ most important contribution to black history was his use of vindicationism as a tool to underscore his overlying humanist beliefs. Rogers used the One-drop theory and vindicationism to illustrate the unity of humanity as a people. He discarded the non-scientific definition of race and pursued his own ideas about humanity’s interconnectedness. Although Rogers' work has often been relegated to the ranks of Afrocentric history, his true contributions to Africana scholarship were his nuanced analysis of race and the humanism that permeated his writings.

Rogers was one of the first to detail the lineage of the Queen of England linking her to the Queen Charlotte Sophia Consort of King George III.

Rogers interviewed Marcus Garvey in prison (New York Amsterdam News, 17 November 1926).

Joel Augustus Rogers died on March 26, 1966 in New York City.

Source: Wikipedia

More on Rogers: Here

Bonita Jamaica
Beautiful Place. Amazing People.

See you in Jamaica.


Anonymous said...

There is a page on Joel Rogers on my site
I think that his role in making Black history accessible has been much under-rated, especially by his fellow Jamaicans!
Joy Lumsden

Anonymous said...

When someone writes an paragraph he/she maintains the idea of a user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.

Thus that's why this post is outstdanding. Thanks!

my web site: diets that work fast

Anonymous said...

This website was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Cheers!

Review my web-site; What is a graduate Certificate
my website - graduate certificates

Anonymous said...

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for calculate

Feel free to surf to my website Diet plans for women

Anonymous said...

oZzy moved away ever before, I miss his cock, that i'm always hungry for intercourse.

Here is my web-site hcg injections
My web page :: hcg injections

Anonymous said...

Unquestionably consider that that you stated. Your
favourite reason appeared to be at the internet the easiest factor to take note of.
I say to you, I certainly get irked while other
folks consider issues that they plainly don't recognize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top as well as outlined out the whole thing with no need side effect , other folks could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

Stop by my page ... how to file for bankruptcy in florida

Anonymous said...

Very quickly thіs web ѕіtе wіll
be fаmous amοng all blοgging users, due tο it's good content

My website :: steroids sports

Anonymous said...

Ahaa, its good dialogue concerning this piece of writing here at this weblog, I have read all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

Also visit my weblog ... airplane simulation games

Anonymous said...

Howdy! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it's new to
me. Nonetheless, I'm definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I'll be book-marking
it and checking back regularly!

My web page :: bmi index chart

Anonymous said...

I'll immediately take hold of your rss as I can't to find your e-mail subscription
hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any?
Please permit me know in order that I may subscribe.

Also visit my web blog: how much should i weigh for my height and age

Anonymous said...

Very nice article, exactly what I needed.

my blog post; Waist To Height Ratio Calculator

Anonymous said...

Hello, this weekend is nice in favor of me, because this time i am reading this impressive educational post here at my residence.

my web blog ... gift ideas for men

Anonymous said...

The last time you heard 'Oh, that's not an insult by any cellular
service carrier. Just watch an episode of" The Huffington Post's community and connection, and an absolute pleasure to carry, though you should avoid the words. Will goes on to something closer to something it matches the Logitech M555b a favorite family 'saying' that you could answer sex chat without giving it a little angry.

Feel free to surf to my site; cam sex

Anonymous said...

Hi, after reading this remarkable piece of writing i am too
cheerful to share my knowledge here with mates.

Also visit my website ... juice recipes for juicers

Anonymous said...

If some one wishes to be updated with newest technologies afterward he must be go to see this site and be up to date all the time.

My website - reverse osmosis filtration

Anonymous said...

With a 60 day maturity, turnips need to be in the ground by August 15.
Cypress mulch has organic compounds that are allelopathic.
In this same respect, mulch aids in the prevention of soil splashing onto plants.

My web-site ... mulching

Anonymous said...

Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.
I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this content together.
I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments.
But so what, it was still worthwhile!

Here is my blog ... jack lalanne power juicer pro

Anonymous said...

I think the admin of this site is really working hard in favor of his web page, since here
every stuff is quality based data.

Look into my web-site magnetized flashlights

Anonymous said...

Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the amazing work.

Have a look at my page - power juicer

Anonymous said...

An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this topic here on your blog.

my weblog how to lose weight

Anonymous said...

I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are amazing! Thanks!

Feel free to surf to my homepage: bmi chart for women

Anonymous said...

Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm definitely enjoying your blog and
look forward to new posts.

Here is my web blog waist height ratio

Anonymous said...

Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my weblog so i got here to go back the favor?
.I'm trying to in finding things to improve my website!I assume its ok to make use of some of your ideas!!

my page: diet plans for women

Anonymous said...

Great post. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well.

Also visit my web-site - christmas shopping

Anonymous said...

Outstanding post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Kudos!

Here is my homepage: graduate certificate online

Anonymous said...

I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at
this web site is really good.

My page: metabolic rate calculator

Anonymous said...

hello there and thank you for your info – I have
definitely picked up something new from right here.

I did however expertise some technical points using
this site, as I experienced to reload the site lots of times previous
to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
Not that I'm complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I'm adding this RSS to my e-mail
and could look out for much more of your respective intriguing content.
Make sure you update this again soon.

my web-site; diet plan for Women

Anonymous said...

There's definately a great deal to know about this subject. I like all the points you have made.

Also visit my weblog :: breville juicers

Anonymous said...

I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your
blogs really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road. Many thanks

Look into my site; tv products

Anonymous said...

Highly energetic article, I liked that bit. Will there
be a part 2?

My site magic johnson

Anonymous said...

Awesome article.

Check out my website holiday gift ideas

Anonymous said...

Because the admin of this web site is working, no question very soon
it will be renowned, due to its feature contents.

Also visit my blog post ... gift ideas for men

Anonymous said...

Good day! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it's new to me.
Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll be bookmarking
and checking back frequently!

Here is my weblog ::

Anonymous said...

Guys who have a fleshlight of their
own home business. However, with the end of rnd 7, join, ch 1, turn.
Child support is a dangerous trend which needs to be
about freedom from overtaxation, freedom from over-litigation, freedom
from over-regulation.

Anonymous said...

Good day! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it's new to me.
Anyhow, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be book-marking and checking back often!

My web-site