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Profiles of Black Success: Thirteen Creative Geniuses Who Changed the World

Overview

Gene Landrum has expandied his popular "profiles" series to feature 13 special individuals whose extraordinary achievements result from an insatiable internal drive and a demand for excellence despite few inherited advantages. What are the characteristics which brought them creative and entrepreneurial success? Are these characteristics of genius inherited or acquired? Profiles of Black Success focuses on five important factors historical mentors, (e.g., Frederick Douglass or Martin Luther King, Jr.), nature vs. ...
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Overview

Gene Landrum has expandied his popular "profiles" series to feature 13 special individuals whose extraordinary achievements result from an insatiable internal drive and a demand for excellence despite few inherited advantages. What are the characteristics which brought them creative and entrepreneurial success? Are these characteristics of genius inherited or acquired? Profiles of Black Success focuses on five important factors historical mentors, (e.g., Frederick Douglass or Martin Luther King, Jr.), nature vs. nurture, crisis and creativity, success imprints, and personality making his work contrary to the Bell Curve Theory.

Landrum's examples of the highly talented concentrate on distinctive outlets to realize creative potential: Business Power Berry Gordy, John Johnson, Reginald Lewis; Entertainment Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey; Humanities Maya Angelou, Paul Robeson; Politics Shirley Chisholm, Nelson Mandela, Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell; and Sports Michael Jordan.

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Editorial Reviews

Ft. Myers News-Press
...uplifting and inspirational.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of Profiles of Genius and Profiles of Female Genius now uses the same technique of delineating a subject's life into an oversimplified chart that lists, among other things, dominant trait, motto, philosophy, nickname, self-description, birth order and education to examine 12 successful African Americans, plus South Africa's Nelson Mandela. "They were not helped by others," Landrum stresses. "They did it themselves." Included are Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Paul Robeson, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell, Shirley Chisholm and three businessmen, Berry Gordy, John Johnson and Reginald Lewis. Each subject is treated and rated individually, classified as either an introvert or an extrovert, a thinker or a feeler, and labeled Promethean, Apollonian, Dionysian or Epimethean. For example, Cosby, Jordan, Mandela, Marshall and Robeson are all Promethean Thinkers, and Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey are both Dionysian Feelers. All are presented as having overcome some childhood trauma to achieve "creative success." From his study of their lives, Landrum draws a number of tidy conclusions, among them: "All of these subjects are devoutly religious" and the "Majority [is] not as sexually flaky or lecherous as whites." The oversimplified self-help message throughout: "Great people are bred, not born. They learn to achieve." Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
The author of Profiles of Genius and Profiles of Female Genius now uses the same technique of delineating a subject's life into an oversimplified chart that lists, among other things, dominant trait, motto, philosophy, nickname, self-description, birth order and education to examine 12 successful African Americans, plus South Africa's Nelson Mandela. "They were not helped by others," Landrum stresses. "They did it themselves." Included are Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Paul Robeson, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell, Shirley Chisholm and three businessmen, Berry Gordy, John Johnson and Reginald Lewis. Each subject is treated and rated individually, classified as either an introvert or an extrovert, a thinker or a feeler, and labeled Promethean, Apollonian, Dionysian or Epimethean. For example, Cosby, Jordan, Mandela, Marshall and Robeson are all Promethean Thinkers, and Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey are both Dionysian Feelers. All are presented as having overcome some childhood trauma to achieve "creative success." From his study of their lives, Landrum draws a number of tidy conclusions, among them: "All of these subjects are devoutly religious" and the "Majority [is] not as sexually flaky or lecherous as whites." The oversimplified self-help message throughout: "Great people are bred, not born. They learn to achieve."
Library Journal
Like Landrum's previous, successfully done studied on genius (Profiles of Genius, Prometheus, 1993, and Profiles of Female Genius, LJ 6/1/94), this book features 13 black "creative geniuses who changed the world." These extraordinary individuals (Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Michael Jordan, Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, et al.) all possess Landrum's criteria for inclusion in his collection-they must be self-made, dominant for ten years, contemporary (since 1950), and have an international influence. The Myers-Briggs Indicator Test and Kiersey's Temperament Preferences are then applied to each individual, with fascinating results; well-organized tables assist in elucidating the five factors to which Landrum attributes creative and entrepreneurial success: historical mentors, nature vs. nurture, crisis and creativity, success imprints, and personality. This study effectively integrates social science principles with pop psychology. For public libraries.-Kay Meredith Dusheck, Animosa, Iowa
Booknews
Profiles the lives of successful African Americans, including Maya Angelou, Michael Jordan, and Thurgood Marshall, finding that behavior characteristics of successful blacks, such as charisma, risk taking, and intuitive vision, are consistent with those of nonblacks, and examines cultural differences in the ways blacks and others approach creativity and innovation. Includes b&w photos. For general readers. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573921190
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Pages: 402
  • Product dimensions: 6.35 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Gene N. Landrum, Ph.D. (Naples, FL), creator of the Chuck E. Cheese concept of family entertainment, is a high-tech start-up specialist, new product innovator, marketing authority, and a popular lecturer. He is also the author of Profiles of Genius, Profiles of Female Genius, and Profiles of Power and Success.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures 9
Acknowledgments 11
Preface 13
1 Historical Mentors of Black Success 23
2 Nature vs. Nurture - Metamorphoses: A Concomitant of Success 35
3 Crisis and Creativity - Discrimination: Crutch or Catalyst? 55
4 Success Imprints - The Psychological Armaments of Greatness 65
5 Personality: The Key to Genius - Ten Key Traits of Black Success 87
6 Maya Angelou - Assertive 109
7 Shirley Chisholm - Indomitable Will 127
8 Bill Cosby - Perfectionist 145
9 Berry Gordy - Driven 163
10 Michael Jackson - Intuitive Vision 181
11 John Johnson - Risk-taking Entrepreneur 201
12 Michael Jeffrey Jordan - Competitor 219
13 Reginald F. Lewis - Hypomanic 237
14 Nelson Mandela - Tenacious 257
15 Thurgood Marshall - Self-confident 277
16 Colin Powell - Strong Work Ethic 295
17 Paul Robeson - Rebel 313
18 Oprah Winfrey - Charismatic 335
19 Racial Differences of Overachievers 351
20 Key Secrets of Black Success 369
Bibliography 387
Index 397
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