Black Entrepreneurs in America: Stories of Struggle and Success / Edition 1

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Beginning with a summary of 200 years of entrepreneurship among African Americans, then moving to in-depth interviews with contemporary entrepreneurs, Michael Woodard provides a powerful record of entrepreneurial vitality in a market that is often hostile and exclusive. The book covers businesses nationwide, representing diverse industries. Woodard ends on a practical note with resources and advice for anyone contemplating an entrepreneurial future.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This concise study of recent trends in black entrepreneurship, with its excellent historical summary, asks two questions: "Why has it taken so long?" and "Why is it still so hard?" Indeed, even in antebellum America, blacks owned prosperous businesses serving predominantly white clientele, while industrious slaves maintained small businesses in their free time (time for which they had to pay their masters). Between 1820 and 1830, Philadelphia's sail-making industry was controlled by African Americans, as was Cincinnati's largest provisions dealer in 1850. All might have progressed nicely had not the Supreme Court ruled for racial segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. Woodard, who was educated as a sociologist, is president and CEO of Woodard and Associates, a national consulting firm, a position that affords him a good perspective on corporate America. Through his interviews, 12 black business owners outline their struggles to success-sagas which will undoubtedly resonate with women and other minorities, as well. Frustrating, senseless and demeaning obstacles recur in each story, most notably unequal access to financing and the unapproachable domain of white-dominated bondsmen. The businesspeople here also display an admirable combination of characteristics including pragmatism, dedication to quality, social concern and an obsessive drive for knowledge. Each interviewee is so sympathetic and each struggle so affecting that it will be a hard-hearted reader who doesn't feel a thrill at their eventual successes. More than just a business book, this is an affecting, inspiring book for any nascent entrepreneur. (Feb.) FYI: Black Corporate Executives: The Making and Breaking of a Black Middle Class is reviewed on page 67 of this issue.
Library Journal
In these life stories, black businessmen and women show how they achieve goals, breathe life into the entrepreneurial spirit, and demand a bit of the American dream for themselves.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813525471
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL D. WOODARD is president and CEO of Woodard and Associates, a national consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta that provides organizational development, management training, and evaluation services to corporations, government agencies, universities, and foundations.
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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The Origin of Successful Black Businesses in America
1 Economic Rights 3
2 The Impact of Civil Rights 25
3 An Indigenous Frame of Reference 39
Pt. 2 The Life Stories of Entrepreneurs
4 Starting a Business: The East Region 51
5 Gaining Access to Capital: The Central Region 101
6 Community Involvement: The West Region 157
Pt. 3 The Outlook for Black Business Development
7 The Future 215
Bibliography 243
Index 247
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