Friday, February 11, 2011

Joel Augustus Rogers & the Universal Races Congress of 1911

Joel Augustus Rogers (September 6, 1880 — March 26, 1966) carried on a tireless war of ideas against the pervasive white supremacist ideology of his time. Here's another sample from his landmark 1917 book From “Superman” to Man, to which I've given a title . . .

Race, Equality of Intellect, & the History of Civilization by J. A. Rogers

Here you find a distillation of the style and content of Rogers' argumentation, which also serves as a window into the time in which he lived. There are several facets of this extract that could be annotated at length. Aside from the marshaling of facts and figures available to Rogers, note the refined and even-tempered tone of the protagonist Dixon contrasted to the frothing hysteria of his white racist antagonist. Note Rogers' insistence on a scientific perspective, to the point of pushing religion aside, for example in Dixon's argument:
“Finot, whose findings ought to be regarded as more valuable than the expressions of chose who base their arguments on sentiment or on Hebrew mythology, says,— ‘All peoples may attain this distant frontier which the brains of the whites have reached.’”
Also of historical interest is Rogers' citation here (and elsewhere in the book) of the First Universal Races Congress of 1911. The centennial of this landmark ideological intervention has so far gone virtually unnoticed, a situation which I am now endeavoring to rectify:

First Universal Races Congress, London, July 26-29, 1911: Selected Bibliography

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