Black Titan

A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire

Black Titan

The grandson of slaves, born into poverty in 1892 in the Deep South, A. G. Gaston died more than a century later with a fortune worth well over $130 million and a business empire spanning communications, real estate, and insurance. Gaston was, by any measure, a heroic figure whose wealth and influence bore comparison to J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. Here, for the first time, is the story of the life of this extraordinary pioneer, told by his niece and grandniece, the award-winning television journalist Carol Jenkins and her daughter Elizabeth Gardner Hines. Born at a time when the bitter legacy of slavery and Reconstruction still poisoned the lives of black Americans, Gaston was determined to make a difference for himself and his people. His first job, after serving in the celebrated all-black regiment during World War I, bound him to the near-slavery of an Alabama coal mine—but even here Gaston saw not only hope but opportunity. He launched a business selling lunches to fellow miners, soon established a rudimentary bank—and from then on there was no stopping him. A kind of black Horatio Alger, Gaston let a single, powerful question be his guide: What do our people need now? His success flowed from an uncanny genius for knowing the answer. Combining rich family lore with a deep knowledge of American social and economic history, Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Hines unfold Gaston’s success story against the backdrop of a century of crushing racial hatred and bigotry. Gaston not only survived the hardships of being black during the Depression, he flourished, and by the 1950s he was ruling a Birmingham-based business empire. When the movement for civil rights swept through the South in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Gaston provided critical financial support to many activists. At the time of his death in 1996, A. G. Gaston was one of the wealthiest black men in America, if not the wealthiest. But his legacy extended far beyond the monetary. He was a man who had proved it was possible to overcome staggering odds and make a place for himself as a leader, a captain of industry, and a far-sighted philanthropist. Writing with grace and power, Jenkins and Hines bring their distinguished ancestor fully to life in the pages of this book. Black Titan is the story of a man who created his own future—and in the process, blazed a future for all black businesspeople in America. From the Hardcover edition.

Encyclopedia of African American Business: Updated and Revised Edition, 2nd Edition [2 volumes]

Encyclopedia of African American Business: Updated and Revised Edition, 2nd Edition [2 volumes]

This two-volume set showcases the achievements of African American entrepreneurs and the various businesses that they founded, developed, or promote as well as the accomplishments of many African American leaders—both those whose work is well-known and other achievers who have been neglected in history. • Provides a broad overview of the development of African American business and business leaders, from the beginning of black life in America through the present • Demonstrates that African Americans developed self-sufficiency early on despite rampant racism and legal restrictions and how their efforts and accomplishments impacted the economy • Identifies many women African American business leaders • Introduces readers to the success of African American entrepreneurs beyond American shores • Shows the influence of social media on the shaping of businesses in the modern context

A Companion to African American History

A Companion to African American History

A Companion to African American History is a collection oforiginal and authoritative essays arranged thematically andtopically, covering a wide range of subjects from the seventeenthcentury to the present day. Analyzes the major sources and the most influential books andarticles in the field Includes discussions of globalization, region, migration,gender, class and social forces that make up the broad culturalfabric of African American history

Betrayal

How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era

Betrayal

Houston A. Baker Jr. condemns those black intellectuals who, he believes, have turned their backs on the tradition of racial activism in America. These individuals choose personal gain over the interests of the black majority, whether they are espousing neoconservative positions that distort the contours of contemporary social and political dynamics or abandoning race as an important issue in the study of American literature and culture. Most important, they do a disservice to the legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and others who have fought for black rights. In the literature, speeches, and academic and public behavior of some black intellectuals in the past quarter century, Baker identifies a "hungry generation" eager for power, respect, and money. Baker critiques his own impoverished childhood in the "Little Africa" section of Louisville, Kentucky, to understand the shaping of this new public figure. He also revisits classical sites of African American literary and historical criticism and critique. Baker devotes chapters to the writing and thought of such black academic superstars as Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, and Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Hoover Institution senior fellow Shelby Steele; Yale law professor Stephen Carter; and Manhattan Institute fellow John McWhorter. His provocative investigation into their disingenuous posturing exposes what Baker deems a tragic betrayal of King's legacy. Baker concludes with a discussion of American myth and the role of the U.S. prison-industrial complex in the "disappearing" of blacks. Baker claims King would have criticized these black intellectuals for not persistently raising their voices against a private prison system that incarcerates so many men and women of color. To remedy this situation, Baker urges black intellectuals to forge both sacred and secular connections with local communities and rededicate themselves to social responsibility. As he sees it, the mission of the black intellectual today is not to do great things but to do specific, racially based work that is in the interest of the black majority.

What Can and Can't Be Said

Race, Uplift, and Monument Building in the Contemporary South

What Can and Can't Be Said

An original study of monuments to the civil rights movement and African American history that have been erected in the U.S. South over the past three decades, this powerful work explores how commemorative structures have been used to assert the presence of black Americans in contemporary Southern society. The author cogently argues that these public memorials, ranging from the famous to the obscure, have emerged from, and speak directly to, the region’s complex racial politics since monument builders have had to contend with widely varied interpretations of the African American past as well as a continuing presence of white supremacist attitudes and monuments.

The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939

The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939

This book is a multifaceted approach to understanding the central developments in African American history since 1939. It combines a historical overview of key personalities and movements with essays by leading scholars on specific facets of the African American experience, a chronology of events, and a guide to further study. Marian Anderson's famous 1939 concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial was a watershed moment in the struggle for racial justice. Beginning with this event, the editors chart the historical efforts of African Americans to address racism and inequality. They explore the rise of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and the national and international contexts that shaped their ideologies and methods; consider how changes in immigration patterns have complicated the conventional "black/white" dichotomy in U.S. society; discuss the often uneasy coexistence between a growing African American middle class and a persistent and sizable underclass; and address the complexity of the contemporary African American experience. Contributors consider specific issues in African American life, including the effects of the postindustrial economy and the influence of music, military service, sports, literature, culture, business, and the politics of self-designation, e.g.,"Colored" vs. "Negro," "Black" vs. "African American". While emphasizing political and social developments, this volume also illuminates important economic, military, and cultural themes. An invaluable resource, The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939 provides a thorough understanding of a crucial historical period.

Choice

Choice


MultiCultural Review

Dedicated to a Better Understanding of Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Diversity

MultiCultural Review


Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present

From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-First Century

Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present

Explores how all aspects of American culture, history, and national identity have been profoundly influenced by the experience of African Americans and documents African American history from 1896 to the present day.

Ebony

Ebony