The astonishing untold history of America’s first black millionaires—former slaves who endured incredible challenges to amass and maintain their wealth for a century, from the Jacksonian period to the Roaring Twenties—self-made entrepreneurs whose unknown success mirrored that of American business heroes such as Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison.
While Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Michael Jordan, and Will Smith are among the estimated 35,000 black millionaires in the nation today, these famous celebrities were not the first blacks to reach the storied one percent. Between the years of 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of smart, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success.
Black Fortunes is an intriguing look at these remarkable individuals, including Napoleon Bonaparte Drew—author Shomari Wills’ great-great-great-grandfather—the first black man in Powhatan County (contemporary Richmond) to own property in post-Civil War Virginia. His achievements were matched by five other unknown black entrepreneurs including:Mary Ellen Pleasant, who used her Gold Rush wealth to further the cause of abolitionist John Brown;Robert Reed Church, who became the largest landowner in Tennessee;Hannah Elias, the mistress of a New York City millionaire, who used the land her lover gave her to build an empire in Harlem;Orphan and self-taught chemist Annie Turnbo-Malone, who developed the first national brand of hair care products;Madam C. J Walker, Turnbo-Malone’s employee who would earn the nickname America’s "first female black millionaire;"Mississippi school teacher O. W. Gurley, who developed a piece of Tulsa, Oklahoma, into a "town" for wealthy black professionals and craftsmen" that would become known as "the Black Wall Street."
A fresh, little-known chapter in the nation’s story—A blend of Hidden Figures, Titan, and The Tycoons—Black Fortunes illuminates the birth of the black business titan and the emergence of the black marketplace in America as never before.
In the wake of the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers faced a daunting task: overcome their competing visions to build a new nation, the likes of which the world had never seen. Washington and Hamilton chronicles the unlikely collaboration between two conflicting characters working together to protect their hard-won freedoms.
Yet while Washington and Hamilton's different personalities often led to fruitful collaboration, their conflicting ideals also tested the boundaries of their relationship-and threatened the future of the new republic.
From the rumblings of the American Revolution through the fractious Constitutional Convention and America's turbulent first years, this captivating history reveals the stunning impact of this unlikely duo that set the United States on the path to becoming a superpower.
©2015 Stephen F. Knott and Tony Williams (P)2016 Dreamscape Media, LLC
James Beard award-winning author Adrian Miller vividly tells the stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington.
Miller brings together the names and words of more than 150 black men and women who played remarkable roles in unforgettable events in the nation's history. Daisy McAfee Bonner, for example, FDR's cook at his Warm Springs retreat, described the president's final day on earth in 1945, when he was struck down just as his lunchtime cheese souffle emerged from the oven. Sorrowfully, but with a cook's pride, she recalled, "He never ate that souffle, but it never fell until the minute he died."
A treasury of information about cooking techniques and equipment, the book includes twenty recipes for which black chefs were celebrated. From Samuel Fraunces's "onions done in the Brazilian way" for George Washington to Zephyr Wright's popovers, beloved by LBJ's family, Miller highlights African Americans' contributions to our shared American foodways.
Surveying the labor of enslaved people during the antebellum period and the gradual opening of employment after Emancipation, Miller highlights how food-related work slowly became professionalized and the important part African Americans played in that process. His chronicle of the daily table in the White House proclaims a fascinating new American story.