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 '20s - 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 1 percent. Between the years of 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery were 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:
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.
Great storytelling, phenomal flow/writing style and learned something! Absolutely recommend this book and it should be required reading for any African American lit class.
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I really enjoyed this book. it captivated my imagination and sparked the belief in how strong the human spirit is regardless of circumstance.
This is a must read not just for African Americans but for all people to understand the Black experience and the long term consequences as a result.
Liked the history and multiple number of success and full entrepreneurial journeys of these Black Americans. You will be forever changed with this read.
The book was informative and fascinating. The black history that this book captures adds such value to the black experience. This book is ranked one of the best books in my collection.
Loved it! By turns, enlightening, inspirational and distressing but still sounding a note of optimism.