Black Poetry : **Book Review**: FROM "SUPERMAN" TO MAN by J.A. Rogers

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by ShemsiEnTehuti, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. ShemsiEnTehuti

    ShemsiEnTehuti Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Aug 28, 2006
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    Florida, USA
    Below you will find the scanned book cover with a good synopsis written on the front. In my opinion, J.A. Rogers is one of our most prolific historians. I recommend every Pan-Africanist to attain his three volume work, Sex and Race, in conjunction with this riveting historically poignant work, From "Superman" To Man as well as his other works.

    Although this is a novel, J.A. Rogers is a pure blood historian. On every page turned, you will find another perhaps little, or previously unknown, fact about the African. The story line is about how a "polished, well-educated, universally-travelled" African man named Dixon meets a racist Southern Senator where they engage in a conversation on a train ride in the early 1900's in the United States. This is a great work of historically accurate fiction that engages the reader to think about many issues of race relations between the African and the European.

    This is not going to be a typical book review you may be used to. Below the book cover, you will find a list of questions that the book commands the reader to think about. It would be a very interesting discussion if my people here at Destee actually addressed any or all of the questions from their perspective.


    Following each question there are the page numbers that reference the book's related discussion:

    1. Dixon reflects on a particular passage stating: "The doctrine of inequality is emphatically a science of white peoples. It is they who have invented it." Is this an over-statement, under-statement, or an accurate assessment of White behavior in regards to African peoples? p 8-9.
    2. Do you find America to be hypocritical, especially the North, given slavery was first legalized in Massachusetts, yet the North only sought to abolish slavery in the South after their supply of slaves ended from the English and the South wielded more political power? p 10.
    3. When the Senator finds Dixon reading a "serious" book, he asks him if he was reading the Bible. Is this indicative of a slave vestige expected of us by Whites to maintain subservience, passivity, and lack of self-determination in African-Americans? p 12.
    4. Do you think that the White Supremacist perception that African people had not attained anything civilized in history (unless conducted by Whites) has abased today's social constructs (politics, education, religion, etc.)? p 18-20.
    5. Although a sensitive issue for African peoples, do we still view ourselves as inferior to whites given the unremitting thermal and chemical hair straightening, skin bleaching, as well as other agents to look more like the European? p 25-26.
    6. The Senator exclaims that African-Americans cannot reason for themselves given Whites denigrated them with the N-word, yet mimic Whites in everything to the extent of calling themselves this derogatory word. Given the rather prevalent use of the N-word even today amongst African-Americans, what can be reasoned from the Senator's comments? p 27.
    7. What do you think of the Senator's comments that no amount of training will enable African-Americans to govern themselves? p 37-38.
    8. Is there such a thing as sexual immorality? If so, is there an intrinsic difference between African and European people in regards to it? p 40-44.
    9. Is it common to find Whites over-state their best qualities to associate with their own people, yet paint all African people the same according to their less desirable qualities exhibited only by a few people? p 62-63.
    10. Do African-Americans have more respect for White-owned businesses rather than their own? p 63.
    11. Was life better in the North or South for African-Americans before the Civil Rights Movement? Is it any different today? p 70-71.
    12. Do you agree with Dixon's stance that we do not need, nor should we want, "social equality"? p 73-78.
      • It is interesting that some African peoples begged Lincoln not to sign the Emancipation Proclamation.
      • Dixon affirms that African people primarily only want open competition in the markets.
      • Note: "social equality" is different from "civil rights"
    13. Is racial intermarriage and interbreeding inherently good, bad, neither, or does it depend on the conditions surrounding such unions and procreation? p 78-91.
      • What about persons of mixed parentage (black and white) marrying a White person?
      • What if they marry a Black person?
    14. Are the Whites that enter into interracial relations with African-Americans typically of a lower class or undesirable by their White peers? p 90.
    15. Do you agree that the more "educated" we become in America, the more "unhappy" we are? p 98.
      • Could this have more to do with the type of education we receive?
    16. The 1930 U.S. Census statistics showed Whites having far greater numbers in proportion to their population of doctors and lawyers, yet African-Americans in proportion had about twice as many preachers compared to Whites. Do things appear to be any different today? p 99.
    17. Since we did not receive reparations after American slavery, do you think it is due (or perhaps overdue) today? p 102.
      • Dixon feels that if justice was due, the entire South would have been handed over to Blacks/Africans.
      • General Sherman's promise of "40 acres and a mule" as reparations after the Civil War was recanted.
    18. Considering the exponential increase of mental and physical health issues (stress anxiety, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.) in the last 30 years, are certain endorsements of Western culture detrimental to our mental and physical health? p 107-108.
      • Dixon presents evidence that African people were naturally more fit mentally and physically and that the decline in vitality in Whites was significantly due to nervous strain.
    19. What do you think of Dixon's remarks that "the greatest hindrance to the progress of the Negro" is the Christian religion "shot into him during slavery" (like dope)? p 114-115.
    20. Do you agree that both the Democratic and Republican parties view African-Americans the same, therefore we should not hand our vote to any particular one? p 115-117.
      • Dixon says that the Democratic party back then was frank in expressing it clearly did not want African people. Have the roles between Democrats and Republicans reversed since the Civil Rights Movement?