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“The Two Foot Shelf of Negro Literature”


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The Two Foot Shelf of Negro Literature Composed of books, selected with care and discrimination, with the idea of offsetting the silence of our educational system regarding twelve million American citizens. Add these volumes to your library. Reading them will increase your respect for the Negro race.” —Kathryn M. Johnson


This list is almost 90 years old and is (you know what I'm gonna say) as relevant today as it was back then.  Sad but true.  Kathryn M. Johnson, who compiled the reading list wrote, The Dark Race in the Dawn: Proof of Black African Civilization in the America’s Before Columbus, which discusses the African presence in America long before Columbus.


I was in grade school, a generation after the publication of this book (and the information was not new then), but I was still taught that Columbus discovered America?!  I participated in a play on the lie. 


I would be an adult before learning that Columbus never even set foot in America.  Why is the myth of columbus discovering america being perpetrated while knowledge of skilled African sailors hidden?


Of course we know this is straight up racism and it adversely impacts Black people to this day.


The Two Foot Shelf of Negro Literature

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