Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago

Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago

Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago

Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago

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Overview

From Jean Baptiste Point DuSable to Oprah Winfrey, black entrepreneurship has helped define Chicago. Robert E. Weems Jr. and Jason P. Chambers curate a collection of essays that place the city as the center of the black business world in the United States. Ranging from titans like Anthony Overton and Jesse Binga to McDonald’s operators to black organized crime, the scholars shed light on the long-overlooked history of African American work and entrepreneurship since the Great Migration. Together they examine how factors like the influx of southern migrants and the city’s unique segregation patterns made Chicago a prolific incubator of productive business development—and made building a black metropolis as much a necessity as an opportunity.

Contributors: Jason P. Chambers, Marcia Chatelain, Will Cooley, Robert Howard, Christopher Robert Reed, Myiti Sengstacke Rice, Clovis E. Semmes, Juliet E. K. Walker, and Robert E. Weems Jr.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252082948
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 08/10/2017
Series: New Black Studies Series
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Robert E. Weems Jr. is the Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History at Wichita State University. He is the author of Business in Black and White: American Presidents and Black Entrepreneurs in the Twentieth Century. Jason P. Chambers is an associate professor of advertising at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author of Madison Avenue and the Color Line: African Americans in the Advertising Industry.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

1 Early Black Chicago Entrepreneurial and Business Activities from the Frontier Era to the Great Migration: The Nexus of Circumstance and Initiative Christopher Robert Reed 27

2 Robert Sengstacke Abbott, 1868-1940 Myiti Sengstacke Rice 44

3 The Rise and Fall of Jesse Binga, a Black Chicago Financial Wizard Robert Howard 61

4 Contested Terrain: P. W. Chavers, Anthony Overton, and the Founding of the Douglass National Bank Robert E. Weems Jr. 80

5 King of Selling: The Rise and Fall of S. B. Fuller Clovis E. Semmes 99

6 A Master Strategist: John H. Johnson and the Development of Chicago as a Center for Black Business Enterprise Jason P. Chambers 122

7 Jim Crow Organized Crime: Black Chicago's Underground Economy in the Twentieth Century Will Cooley 147

8 The Politics of the Drive-Thru Window: Chicago's Black McDonald's Operators and the Demands of Community Marcia Chatelain 171

9 Positive Realism: Tom Burrell and the Development of Chicago as a Center for Black-Owned Advertising Agencies Jason P. Chambers 191

10 Oprah Winfrey: The Tycoon Juliet E.K. Walker 212

11 Racial Desegregation and Black Chicago Business: The Case Studies of the Supreme Liberty Life Insurance Company and the Chicago Metropolitan Assurance Company Robert E. Weems Jr. 234

Contributors 251

Index 255

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