Market Women: Black Women Entrepreneurs--past, Present, and Future

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 2005 - Business & Economics - 267 pages
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In stark contrast to popular belief, women of the African Diaspora have engaged in economic and leadership activities throughout the course of history. Black women around the world draw from a tradition of thousands of years of strategies that have enabled them to face and conquer the challenges of life. Queens and women warriors ruled in Africa from the dawn of civilization to the late 19th century. Women's entrepreneurship flourished in the West African Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and the Songhay. And yet today, black women are marginalized by an economic and financial community still dominated by white men. In Market Women Cheryl Smith sets the record straight, applying insights from a variety of fields - including history, women's studies, African-American studies, and anthropology - to trace the roots of black women's entrepreneurship, as it is currently practiced in the United States. reveals an approach to business that is based on personal relationships, pooling of resources, a sense of humour, apprenticeship and mentoring, and strong mother-daughter bonds that defy traditional definitions of business success, wealth creation, and power. In the process she gives voice to a long-disenfranchised group whose struggles and triumphs in business illuminate universal themes that transcend race and gender. The result is a unique study of business from a fresh perspective and an inspiring account of achieving success against tremendous odds.
  

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Contents

Setting the Stage Background and Context
3
Reclaiming History Ancient African Economic Traditions
13
The Continuum Early African American Womens Business History from the Colonial Period to the Twentieth Century
21
Unexpected Entrepreneurs A Different View of Business
43
The Present The Lived Experiences of Black Women Entrepreneurs
71
The PresentDay Context Business Balance and Time
75
A Strong Sense of Self Who and How They Are
97
Capital Accumulation What They Do and How They Do It
119
The Wonderful Stuff Empowerment through Reframing Reconstructing and Redefining
203
Appendices
213
Black Womens Themes
215
Networks
217
Resources for Entrepreneurs
219
Descriptions of Businesses Studied
221
Notes
225
Bibliography
235

Mothers Sisters and Spirituality Contributors to Success
137
Social Capital A New Kind of Quilt
163
The Future The Sankofa PrincipleThe Wisdom of Learning front the Past
179
Gifts from the Margin
181
Bibliographic Essay
247
Index
259
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About the author (2005)

Cheryl A. Smith is Associate Professor in the School of Integrative and Experiential Studies, Lesley University.

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