Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires

Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires

Between the years of 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of industrious, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success.

Mary Ellen Pleasant, used her Gold Rush wealth to further the cause of abolitionist John Brown. Robert Reed Church, became the largest landowner in Tennessee. Hannah Elias, the mistress of a New York City millionaire, used the land her lover gave her to build an empire in Harlem. Orphan and self-taught chemist Annie Turnbo-Malone, developed the first national brand of hair care products. Mississippi school teacher O. W. Gurley, developed a piece of Tulsa, Oklahoma, into a “town” for wealthy black professionals and craftsmen that would become known as “the Black Wall Street.” Although Madam C. J Walker was given the title of America’s first female black millionaire, she was not. She was the first, however, to flaunt and openly claim her wealth—a dangerous and revolutionary act.

Nearly all the unforgettable personalities in this amazing collection were often attacked, demonized, or swindled out of their wealth. Black Fortunes illuminates as never before the birth of the black business titan.

Title:Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires
ISBN:9780062437549
Format Type:

    Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires Reviews

  • Jill Hutchinson

    What an interesting book on the the lives of six African-Americans who through hard work, intelligence, strength and in some cases, luck, became millionaires in the pre- and post-Civil War period. In ...

  • Katie/Doing Dewey

    Summary: The writing was simple, but I loved the stories and the important but forgotten history they revealed.This is the story of the first black millionaires - six amazing individuals, living barel...

  • Jamal

    Completely Blown away by this well researched Gem. Shomari wills presented the lives of these millionaires in such a cool way. Learned so many amazing things....

  • David Wineberg

    Millionaires today are no big deal. Half of Congress is millionaires. Not impressed. But the first six black American millionaires is a terrific story. These unlikely individuals started off with huge...

  • Louise

    Author Shomari Wills profiles 6 black Americans who, despite overt post slavery racism, made fortunes. Each lived with a powder keg of challenges to not only their wealth, but also their lives. While ...

  • Diego

    In the spirit of learning history during Black History month: Six life stories of the first African-American slaves that became millionaires, prior to the Civil War and leading into the early 1900s. I...

  • Jerry Williams

    Great Book, however it is very hard to follow in Audio Version, especially if you don't listen to it in one reading. The stories of the individual's profiles aren't concurrent and will often pick up m...

  • Ari

    IQ "Early in our country's history, African Americans who achieved wealth were often attacked, demonized, or swindled out of their money by those who knew the Jim Crow court system would offer no redr...

  • Benita

    What an interesting look at a part of African American history that is not often told. Here we find the tales of 6 African American who found a way to beat the odds and amass wealth and influence. Whe...

  • Madlyn

    It is always difficult to learn the truth about the struggles and atrocities blacks had to endured simply by the color of their skin....