Cover image for From "superman" to man
From "superman" to man
Rogers, J. A. (Joel Augustus), 1880-1966.
Fourth edition.
Publication Information:
Mansfield Centre, CT : Martino Publishing, 2014.
Physical Description:
128 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Facsimile of edition published: New York City : Lenox Pub. Co., copyright 1924.

The author, who was a Pullman porter, reflects on the white supremacy in America against blacks. His book covers a conversation between a learned Pullman porter (the author) and a passenger, a state senator from Oklahoma. They discuss a book belonging to the porter on equality of the races. At first the senator refuted it. However, with further reading and discussions with the porter, his racial prejudice diminished and he developed an understanding and appreciation of blacks.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.61 .R72 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



2014 Reprint of 1924 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. Rogers' work was concerned with "the Great Black Man" theory of history. This theory presented history, specifically black history, as a mural of achievements by prominent black people. Rogers devoted a significant amount of his professional life to unearthing facts about people of African ancestry. He intended these findings 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 "World's Great Men of Color," all described remarkable black people throughout the ages and cited significant achievements of black people. Rogers' first book, "From "Superman" to Man," self-published in 1917, attacked notions of African inferiority. It is a polemic against the ignorance that fuels racism. The central plot revolves around a debate between a Pullman porter and a white racist Southern politician. Rogers used this debate to air many of his personal philosophies and to debunk 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 and anthropology to biology. 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, the lack of black history being told from a black person's perspective, and the fact of intermarriage and unions among peoples throughout history.