As the world anxiously, and gleefully, awaits the inauguration of President Biden and the departure of the buffoon Trump, we naturally think about events over the past 4 years – and especially over the past year. “Black Lives Matter” probably comes in second, albeit a distant second, after the soul and life destroying COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 saw real change in race relations, probably to a greater extent since the Martin Luther King years.
No more Washington Redskins, no More Cleveland Indians. And much of the change has been driven by the corporate sponsors. The “pocket book” drives change. After the sickening and jaw dropping assault on the Capital, we have seen over the past several days, over one hundred arrests of the perpetrators of mayhem. But will that cause Republican politicians to really change their ways? I doubt it.
But, also over the past couple of days, we have seen a fast-growing list of corporations who contribute to politicians’ election efforts start to announce that those Republican elected officials who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the recent Presidential election would no longer receive donations to their election efforts. Will that get their attention? You better believe it! And I should note, that many of these corporations stated that will stop making political donations period.
They are fed up with the nonsense just like we are.
Back to Black Lives Matter. Just this past week, I acquired a very scarce book that addressed racism head on – but in a very different manner. The author of this book felt that over the past several centuries mutual respect was more common than not, in Europe especially, and that many influential and socially prominent “white people” actually had black blood in their veins. And this was before anyone even heard of DNA. For this book was written in 1952.
Nature Knows No Color-Line – Research into the Negro Ancestry in the White Race, by J. A. Rogers, was self published by the author in New York in 1952.
The remainder of this musing is the body of the text, accompanied by the photos, of the description of the book that was posted on Abebooks a few days ago.
From the Title Page and verso
Nature Knows No Color-Line – Research into the Negro Ancestry in the White Race; by J. A. Rogers, author - "From Superman to Man"; "Sex and Race"; World’s Great Men of Color"; etc., etc.
Beauty, though wild fantastic ape, who dost in every country change thy shape, here black, here brown, here tawny and there white - Abraham Cowley 1618-1677;
"Thou are white and I am black but day must join with night to bring forth the dawn and the twilight which are more beautiful than they" – Victor Hugo;
J. A. Rogers, 37 Morningside Avenue, New York 26, N. Y., $5.00 postpaid. Copyright 1952
J.A. Rogers, all rights reserved, first edition of 2,000 copies, second edition 3,000 copies.
From the Blurb
Nature Knows no Color-Line comes at the right moment. The United Nations has announced a History of Mankind, going back to 300,000 B.C. on which 1,000 of the world’s leading historians are working. Care must be taken that the Negro isn’t given the usual treatment in this history. This book will make sure oversight more difficult. Joel Augustus Rogers (1880/3 – 1966) was a Jamaican-American author, journalist, and historian who contributed to the history of Africa and the African diaspora. One of eleven children, he was the son of mixed-race parents who were a minister and schoolteacher. After settling in the United States in 1906, he lived in Chicago and then New York City. He became interested in the history of African Americans in the United States. His research spanned the academic fields of history, sociology and anthropology. He challenged prevailing ideas about scientific racism and the social construction of race, demonstrated the connections between civilizations, and traced achievements of ethnic Africans, and including some with mixed European ancestry. He was one of the earliest popularizers of African and African-American history in the 20th
century. Rogers' theories about race, sex and color can be found in his books Nature Knows No
Color-Line (this book), World's Great Men of Color. His pamphlet Five Negro Presidents provided what he said was evidence that some 19th- and 20th-century presidents of the United States had partially black ancestry.
In this book, Rogers examined the origins of racial hierarchy and the color problem. He stated that the origins of the race problem had never been adequately examined or discussed. He believed that color prejudice generally evolved from issues of domination and power between two physiologically different groups. He thought that color prejudice was used as a rationale for domination, subjugation and warfare. Societies developed myths and prejudices in order to pursue their own interests at the expense of other groups. 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.
This book, 242 pages, is in fine condition in a very-good dust jacket that is now enclosed in a protective mylar wrap. A beautiful copy of a very scarce and important book on the subject of race and race relationships.