Author: Shomari Wills
Paperback: 320 Pages
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.
My name is Shomari "Sho" Wills. I was born in Washington D.C. and grew up on 16th street aka the "Gold Coast", an enclave of black professionals, artists, and politicians.
I attended Morehouse College and Columbia Journalism School, where I studied writing and broadcast journalism and won the Lynton Bookwriting fellowship in 2013.
As a journalist, I worked at CNN where I was a producer on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon and at Good Morning America, where I won an Emmy as part of the production team in 2017.
My first book, Black Fortunes, is the untold story of America's first black millionaires. It was in part inspired by my great-great Uncle John Drew a gilded age industrialist, Negro League baseball team owner, and one of the first Black millionaires in the Philadelphia area.
Concerned about the lack of diversity in children’s books, Charnaie Gordon and her two kids are bridging the literacy gap with their new project that brings diverse books to children in each of the 50 states.
Gordon founded the Here Wee Read platform, which highlights diversity in children’s books, featuring multiple races, cultures and religions. The curated books also teach children about important subjects such as immigration and politics.
Through “50 States 50 Books”, Gordon and her two children are sending these significant books to non-profit organizations, libraries, schools, and more, to every state in the country.
Since launching this project, Gordon shares that several people have felt inspired to help, and have bought titles from Here Wee Read’s Amazon Wish List, that includes multiple sections such as “Juneteenth Books”; “Asian Picture & Chapter Books”; and “Latino/Bilingual Picture Books”. READ MORE........