This work is concerned with "the Great Black Man" theory of history. This theory presents history, specifically black history, as a mural of achievements by prominent black people. He devoted a significant amount of his professional life to unearthing facts about people of African ancestry, intending these findings to be a refutation of contemporary racist beliefs about the inferiority of blacks. Books such as 100 Amazing Facts about the Negro, Sex and Race and World's Great Men of Color described remarkable black people throughout the ages and cited significant achievements of black people. However, many of the historical figures that Rogers cites as "black", including Aesop, Cleopatra and Hannibal, are not considered to be so by historians. Rogers commented on the partial black ancestry of some prominent Europeans, including Alexander Pushkin and Alexandre Dumas, père. Similarly, Rogers was among those who asserted that a direct ancestor of the British royal family, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, had a remote ancestor who was of African origin.
First published in 1934 and revised in 1962, this book gathers journalist and historian Joel Augustus Rogers' columns from the syndicated newspaper feature titled Your History. Patterned after the look of Ripley's popular Believe It or Not the multiple vignettes in each episode recount short items from Rogers's research. The feature began in the Pittsburgh Courier in November 1934 and ran through the 1960s.