Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
A Book Talk with Marcia Chatelain
Presented by the Gender+ Justice Initiative and the DC Public Library
Moderated by Mike Amezcua, Assistant Professor of History, Georgetown University
Join us in welcoming Professor Marcia Chatelain, acclaimed historian and winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History, for a virtual discussion of her book Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (2020).
Often blamed for the rising rates of obesity and diabetes among black Americans, fast food restaurants like McDonald’s have long symbolized capitalism’s villainous effects on our nation’s most vulnerable communities. But how did fast food restaurants so thoroughly saturate black neighborhoods in the first place? In Franchise, Marcia Chatelain uncovers a surprising history of cooperation among fast food companies, black capitalists, and civil rights leaders, who—in the troubled years after King’s assassination—believed they found an economic answer to the problem of racial inequality. From civil rights to Ferguson, Franchise reveals the untold history of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of black wealth in America.
Dr. Marcia Chatelain is a Professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University. The author of South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration (2015), Chatelain is a scholar of African American life and culture.
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