100 Amazing Facts About the Negro

Pantheon. Oct. 2017. 496p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780307908711. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780307908728. SOC SCI
The 1936 publication of this title led to its author, J.A. Rogers, becoming a leading historian of his day. Although a longtime popular black history book, with its amassed facts covering varied aspects of the African diaspora, this volume has been criticized for its lack of scholarship. Here, historian and scholar Gates (And Still I Rise: Black America Since MLK), an admirer of the original text, reframes the work, relying on meticulous research. Presented in question-and-answer format, it tackles everything from biographical entries to articles relating to the economy, the government, and the institution of slavery. Entries include "Who Was the First Black Saint?"; "Did Russia's Peter the Great Adopt an African Man as His Son?"; "Who Were the Black Passengers on the Doomed Titanic?"; and "Did Martin Luther King Jr., Improvise His 'I Have a Dream' Speech?" Previous books on black trivia, such as Jeffrey C. Stewart's 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African-American History, are traditional in content and organized by subject; Gates presents topics and facts that are fascinating and unique.
VERDICT An entertaining and informative read for those with an interest in black history and who enjoy historical trivia.
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