does anyone know about the Black history of insurance companies? and by that i mean that i once read an article about insurance companies were started by Black folks when they couldn’t get loans from banks. So in order to get around that fact they were insured (their commitment to pay off large sums of money was guaranteed by a company) was/is that accurate. and that these were some of the first major Black-owned business in the South. am i crazy??? does anyone else know about this can confirm, deny, or clarify this point?
oh afam major reading random things about Black history but having the memory of swiss cheese.
Thanks! This totally jump started my memory about where I read this from. I was looking up one of the first Black-owned record companies (Black Swan Records) which was started by Harry Herbert Pace who was a Black insurance man in Atlanta and Mephis, first (also was educated by W.E.B. DuBois and worked with W.C. Handy in his first music-related company.)
Black (music) history is the bomb. Here is the link to the first article I ever read about Black Swan Records that mentions briefly the insurance stuff: The Rise and Fall of Black Swan Records by Jitu K. Weusi.
(Black Swan is probably most famous for being the company that released some of Ethel Waters first major recordings and briefly working with Bessie Smith as well.)
See, I love that there are more links. Oh, have you read Policy Kings? Policy (and other vice) played a huge role in the economics of segregation too.
I have not! Oh this is going on my to-read list.
uhhhh Black political economies are possibly my favorite research topic. i tend (as you can see) to look at it through the production of entertainment/leisure/pleasure but at the end of the day it all comes back to that.
i really need to get back to my grad studies. as soon as i can afford to be broke for a five to seven year stretch.
My focus is largely the economics of black people in Chicago (I feel like it’s history that is under discussed and/or under explored by mainstream narratives), so I’ve really been digging there in particular. Ooh, you should also check I’ve Got To Make My Living. The economics of sex work vs. domestic labor for black women in Jim Crow are really interesting too.
yep that’s going on the list too. and i feel you. i struggle with whether to ground myself in research on Houston (because I’m so interested in knowing the histories of this place where i come from) and wanting to do some of my more contemporary stuff (which is mostly concerning folks not in Texas)
I think Chicago and Houston are similar in that they have clear long histories as Black cultural centers that everyone forgot about between like 1970-2000—at least in terms of academic and popular history—and now they are on the map again because of their rap music affiliations but like that stuff is largely divorced from their longer historical narratives.
*does not go on long rant about the dismissal of houston’s role in the maintenance of the blues post 1930*
Do it! I got started because I wanted to see pics of the Black Belt in Chicago during the 20’s & realized that history wasn’t really being documented publicly so now I’m determined to find the history that was eclipsed by the focus on New York.
Its not a really long rant it goes something like: just because the Blues went out of style in mainstream club culture in New York doesn’t mean it died. If you don’t understand how Blues was maintained in the South (with Houston being one of its hubs in terms of recording industries) then you’ll never get the birth of the Gospel-Blues/modern gospel music…or Soul music.
(or Janis Joplin but that is a whole ‘nother story.)