Fort Greene store:
Monday, February 4, 7:30 PM
Shomari Wills presents Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Survived Slavery and Became Millionaires
In conversation with Samuel Freedman
Journalist and Brooklyn local Shomari Wills brings to life the astonishing untold history of America’s first black millionaires: former slaves who endured incredible challenges to amass and maintain their wealth for a century, from the Jacksonian period to the Roaring Twenties—self-made entrepreneurs whose unknown success mirrored that of American business heroes such as Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison. Black Fortunes is an intriguing look at these remarkable individuals, including Napoleon Bonaparte Drew—author Shomari Wills’ great-great-great-grandfather—the first black man in Powhatan County (contemporary Richmond) to own property in post-Civil War Virginia. His achievements were matched by other unknown black entrepreneurs including Mary Ellen Pleasant, Robert Reed Church, Hannah Elias, Annie Turnbo-Malone, Madame C.J. Walker, and O.W. Gurley. Wills reads and discusses Black Fortunes with Samuel Freedman, award-winning author and former columnist for The New York Times.