The Business of Black Power

The Business of Black Power

Community Development, Capitalism, and Corporate Responsibility in Postwar America

Edited by Laura Warren Hill, Julia Rabig

Personal eBook

University of Rochester Press



Explores business development in the Black power era and the centrality of economic goals to the larger black freedom movement.
The Business of Black Power emphasizes the centrality of economic goals to the larger black freedom movement and explores the myriad forms of business development in the Black power era. This volume charts a new course for Black power studies and business history, exploring both the business ventures that Black power fostered and the impact of Black power on the nation's business world. Black activists pressed business leaders, corporations, and various levels of government into supporting a range of economic development ventures, from Black entrepreneurship, to grassroots experiments in economic self-determination, to indigenous attempts to rebuild inner-city markets in the wake of disinvestment. They pioneered new economic and development strategies, often in concert with corporate executives and public officials. Yet these same actors also engaged in fierce debates over the role of business in strengthening the movement, and some African Americans outright rejected capitalism or collaboration with business.

The ten scholars in this collection bring fresh analysis to this complex intersection of African American and business history to reveal how Black power advocates, or those purporting a Black power agenda, engaged business to advance their economic, political, and social goals. They show the business of Black power taking place in the streets, boardrooms, journals and periodicals, corporations, courts, and housing projects of America. In short, few were left untouched by the influence of this movement.

Laura Warren Hill is assistant professor of history at Bloomfield College. Julia Rabig is a lecturer at Dartmouth College.


15 black and white illustrations
354 pages
9x6 in
Personal eBook, 9781782047582, June 2012
Hardback, 9781580464031, June 2012
Paperback, 9781580464406, June 2012
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC HIS036070, SOC056000, BUS077000
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The essays make significant contributions to the historiographies of business history and Black Power history...highly recommended reading. H-BUSINESS

Valuable and interesting...this collection of essays serves an important purpose and will do much to advance the studies of black power. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY

A seminal work that is an especially recommended contribution to academic library Black Studies and Economic Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists. MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW The Black Power Movement of the late 1960s may seem like a faint memory to many African Americans, but for the millions still trapped in poverty, the need for black economic power to uplift their lives is greater than ever. This is what makes The Business of Black Power so powerful and compelling. The essays by an array of esteemed thinkers and planners detail the history, problems, and prospects of black economic development, providing readers with a timely roadmap on how to empower African-American communities. --Earl Ofari Hutchinson, MSNBC Political Analyst, and author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge