A Historical Perspective on Black & African American Capitalism (November 17)Historians in the News
tags: African American history, Black capitalism, virtual history, online events
About the speaker: Marcia Chatelain is a Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University. In Professor Chatelain’s latest book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (Liveright Publishing Co./W.W. Norton, 2020), Chatelain uncovers a surprising history of cooperation among fast-food companies, black capitalists, and civil rights leaders, who—in the troubled years after King’s assassination—believed they found an economic answer to the problem of racial inequality. With the discourse of social welfare all but evaporated, federal programs under presidents Johnson and Nixon promoted a new vision for racial justice: that the franchising of fast-food restaurants, by black citizens in their own neighborhoods, could finally improve the quality of black life. Synthesizing years of research, Franchise tells a troubling success story of an industry that blossomed the very moment a freedom movement began to wither. Marcia is also the author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015). At Georgetown, Chatelain has won several teaching awards for her courses that examine women’s and girls’ history, as well as black capitalism. An active public speaker and educational consultant, Chatelain has received awards and honors from the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Chatelain received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University in 2008.