AFRICAN AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURS by Jim Haskins

AFRICAN AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURS

Age Range: 10 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Haskins (Black, Blue, and Gray, 1998, etc.) profiles 31 African-Americans, including seven women, who overcame towering obstacles of law and custom to achieve financial success in fields such as banking, cosmetics, electrical engineering, music, and real estate. Some, such as plantation (and slave) owner Marie-ThÇräse Metoyer worked to buy freedom for their families; some exploited white prejudice to occupy unfilled market niches; all displayed plenty of courage, initiative, and ingenuity. The careers of people such as Paul Cuffe, Madame C.J. Walker, and Oprah Winfrey are already well-documented, but hairdresser Pierre Toussaint, filmmaker Oscar Michaeux, and businessman A.G. ``It doesn't do any good to arrive at first-class citizenship if you arrive broke'' Gaston will be less familiar to readers, and the gallery includes still-rising stars Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. (financial management) and Omar Wasow (computer entrepreneur). Dividing the work into ``The Early Years,'' ``The Civil War Years and Reconstruction,'' ``Into the New Century,'' and ``Modern Times,'' Haskins draws information from published, mostly secondary, sources, and generally steers clear of personal details and extended quotations, so there isn't much sense of his subjects' individual characters or voices. The diversity of their paths to success, however, makes a refreshing change from the ``official'' versions offered by most athletes and other celebrities, putting this a step above school assignment fodder. (b&w illustrations, index, not seen, chronology, bibliography) (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 1998
ISBN: 0-471-14576-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Wiley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1998




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