Black Fortunes, a new book titled by journalist Shomari Wills which tells the story of America’s first black millionaires, was inspired by John Drew who operated a bus line in Darby in the early 1900s, writes John Williams for The New York Times.
Drew was Wills’ great-great uncle so he grew up hearing stories about him from his mother. She told Wills that in the late 1920s, Drew used his profits to invest in the stock market.
“He rode the bull market pretty long, and pulled his money out right before the crash,” said Wills in an interview with The New York Times. “He walked away with close to a million dollars.”
Wills began researching the first black millionaires in America in 2013 while at Columbia Journalism School. He discovered many interesting things during his research, particularly how much they spent advancing racial equality in the United State.
“Throughout their lives, they put themselves at risk, funneling the money they were able to make into abolition, civil rights, anti-lynching,“ he said. “They devoted an incredible amount of their money trying to help the African-American community.“
Read the entire interview at The New York Times by clicking here.
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