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Black Enterprise Titans of the B.E. 100s: Black CEOs Who Redefined and Conquered American Business Hardcover – April 12, 1999
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During the past quarter century, Black Enterprise magazine has been authoritatively chronicling the prime movers and shakers among African American entrepreneurs while annually ranking their top companies in numerous categories. Now, in Black Enterprise Titans of the B.E. 100s, editor-at-large Derek T. Dingle looks more closely at the 11 individuals who operate America's very largest black-owned firms. Among them are the well-known, such as Jet and Ebony magazine founder John H. Johnson and Black Entertainment Television creator Robert L. Johnson, along with the not-so-well-known, such as auto dealer and former NFL star Mel Farr Sr. and "People's Banker" Emma C. Chappell. Touching upon an array of industries--ranging from media and music to food processing and construction--it presents these "passionate, proud and persevering" men (and one woman) in illuminating profiles that benefit from the magazine's long-range perspective. They show how both established and emerging leaders have used "imagination and drive" to battle "a lack of capital, diminished access, and outright racism" and still succeed on such a grand level. Additionally, they introduce these formidable corporate figures to a broader audience that in the future will also benefit from their experiences. --Howard Rothman
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Titans of the B.E. 100s Black CEOs Who Redefined and Conquered American Business "Money has no color. If you can build a better mousetrap, it won?t matter whether you?re black or white. People will buy it." —A. G. Gaston, Black Enterprise?s 1992 Entrepreneur of the Century
For more than 25 years, Black Enterprise, the premier African American business magazine, has ranked and chronicled the B.E. 100s?its exclusive listing of the nation?s top-grossing, black-owned businesses. Generating more than $14 billion in annual revenue and employing more than 55,000 people, these companies represent a vibrant and often overlooked segment of the American economy. Their CEOs, among the wealthiest and most powerful players in the black business community, have been the vanguard of an entrepreneurial revolution. They achieved greatness despite a lack of capital, diminished access, and even outright racism, using their imagination and drive to seize opportunities and break through barriers. First in the new Black Enterprise series, Titans of the B.E. 100s profiles eleven of these remarkable leaders of the largest black-owned businesses. Covering a broad cross-section of companies and industries, this compelling book features both today?s emerging entrepreneurs and the established CEOs, revealing the secrets of how they beat the odds and the hard truths about the myriad challenges they?ve faced. No other book brings together so many contemporary black business success stories. Through in-depth, first-person interviews, you?ll meet the titans who started their companies from the ground up and were relentless in doing so; who filled a void in the consumer market and, in turn, revolutionized whole industries; and who love the companies that they run and are energized by new ventures. Each chapter profiles a different business legend: From John H. Johnson, founder of Ebony and Jet magazines; to Herman J. Russell, who used $125 to create the nation?s largest black-owned construction firm; to Emma C. Chappell, the People?s Banker, who launched the United Bank of Philadelphia; to Robert L. Johnson, who created Black Entertainment Television and then transformed BET Holdings, Inc. from a single cable network to an entertainment monolith that became the first black-owned business listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Inspiring and motivating, Titans of the B.E. 100s will introduce you to an incredible group of men and women who made a profound impact upon global business, symbolizing a spectacular realization of the American Dream.
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They represent, in many ways, the economic evolution of post-war African Americans. The first step in the effort for black equality was driven largely by the Civil Rights Movement, which led to the social and legal reforms of the 1950s and 1960s. Next, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which eliminated such barriers to political activity as the poll tax and illiteracy test, gave rise to the increase in black political strength with the election of blacks to Congress in the late 1960s and 1970s. Those events were followed by the propulsion of black economic power in which African Americans gained an opportunity to amass wealth and achieve the American Dream that had been elusive for so long. In the 1980s and 1990s, blacks, who gained access to the nation's leading universities and major corporations, leveraged their education and experience to acquire and finance new companies as well as develop enterprises through emerging technologies.
The eleven chapters of this book each tell the untold story of these titans and the contributions they and their companies have made to American industry and life. Their stories and ideas will instruct, inspire, illuminate and motivate the reader to build on their success. This book is a source of inspiration and motivation to the next generation of captains of industry of all races and both genders the world over.
Derek T. Dingle is an editor-at-large for Black Enterprise magazine. For more than a decade, he has covered the B.E. 100s, which profile the 100 largest black-owned businesses, and he recently served as writer for B.E. 100s Exclusive, a newsletter for CEOs of these companies. In addition to his role as the managing editor of BE several years ago, he served as president and CEO of Milestone Media, Inc., which was America's largest black-owned comic book company.