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Black History: Special Delivery

Ellenae Fairhurst: 1st Black Woman To Own A Lexus & Infiniti Dealership

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Ellenae Fairhurs

Less than 8% of car dealerships are owned by women. That number is only 1% for the number of dealerships owned by black women. However, women influence over 85% of the auto purchases. Ellenae Fairhurst has made history in Huntsville, AL becoming the first African American woman to own a Lexus dealership. She accomplished this mile stone in the early 1990’s!! A native of Dayton, OH, she started her career in the auto industry as a secretary at Ford Motor Company in 1968 in Detroit, MI. Fairhurst attended Miami University in Ohio. After graduation, she moved to Detroit and began her career with Ford. She had originally been selected to participate in Ford’s management training program but after finding out that she had recently been married, they did not permit her to participate in the management training program. Fairhurst held a number of positions throughout her 17 year tenure with Ford.

In 1988 she opened her first dealership.   Fairhurst sought out the opportunity at a time when many corporate professionals were being downsized. Fairhurst became aware of Ford’s dealership training program. She found it very difficult to get information on how she could be considered for participation. However she was supported in her efforts by several African American dealers. Unfortunately, she was unsuccessful in entering the dealership program at Ford, but was able to enter the dealership training program for Chrysler. Her first Chrysler dealership was it in Fayetteville, NC opened in 1988 was very successful. Fairhurst was able to pay off her dealership in 8 years which is nearly half the time (15 years) that it would normally take to do so. To enter the dealing training program, you had to prove that she had $50k of disposable income. The actual cost of her first dealership was $150k. Ford had an employee stock purchase program which had a company match. Fairhurst participated in this program and was able to use these funds to help fund her efforts to purchase the Chrysler dealership. Most of the remaining funds for the dealership purchase came from severance pay she received after being down-sized from Ford.

Fairhurst believes that most women have an innate ability to be excellent entrepreneurs. Fairhust identifies some of her challenges in owning her first dealership as being lack of access to information and opportunity as well as constantly being told what she could not do. While dealers of color did eventually did make inroads in owning main line dealerships, there was not much progress in owning luxury dealerships. Fairhurst left her Chrysler dealership to come to acquire an Infiniti dealership in Huntsville, AL. This was also a milestone for Fairhurst as she was the first African American woman to acquire an Infiniti car dealership in the 1990’s. She is now the owner both the owner of two luxury dealerships in Alabama (Infiniti and Lexus)

Click the link to hear an interview with Ellenae Fairhurst

https://soundcloud.com/auto-trends-with-jeffcars

One Year Anniversary Of Charleston, SC Church Shooting

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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June 17 marks the one year anniversary when nine members of Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina were murdered during a prayer meeting.

Dylan Roof was arrested for the shooting.  He remains in police custody and could face the death penalty.  Trial was originally set to start in July 2016 but was delayed until January 2017 to allow additional time for psychiatric evaluation of Dylan Roof.

The one year anniversary was recognized in Charleston honoring the life and legacy of the shooting victims.  The one year anniversary reminds us that racism is alive and well in America.

Another Legend Has Left Us: Muhammad Ali Dead At 74

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

 

Today we are sharing 7 little known facts about the life of the incomparable Muhammad Ali who died on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74.

  1. Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay. He was named at birth after an abolitionist. When he converted to the Muslim faith, he changed his name initially to Cassius X. At the time, Ali, was also good friends with Malcolm X. When Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam, Cassius X decided to change his name to show that chose to remain loyal to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad rather than following Malcolm X. In 1964, he changed to Muhammad Ali
  2. Ali inspired Sylvester Stallone to make “Rocky”. Ali fought a little known boxer, Chuck Wepner. Ali did beat Wepner, but it took him the full 15 rounds. Wepner was recognized for his grit in going the distance with the champ. Rocky’s opponent, “Apollo Creed” was inspired by Ali.
  3. He never turned down an autograph request. As a young boy he was denied an autograph by Sugar Ray Robinson. He vowed that should he become famous he would never deny his fans. He even had a special P.O. Box for anyone wanting an autograph.
  4. He used to race the school bus. Instead of “riding” the bus, he “raced” the bus to school as a child in Louisville, KY.
  5. He threw away his gold medal. Ali won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. He wore the medal frequently. When he was refused service at a restaurant because of his race, he then threw his Gold medal into the Ohio River stating that he would not wear in a country where he would be denied service.
  6. A stolen bicycle launched is boxing career. When he was 12, his new bike was stolen. When he went to the police station to report the bike stolen, he met an officer there who introduced him to boxing. He also vowed that he was going “whip” whoever stole his bike. However the bike was never found.
  7. He recorded an album. In 1963, he made of recording of Ben E. King’s, “Stand By Me”. It was released in 1964 by Columbia Records. The recording was part of Ali’s, “I Am The Greatest” spoken-word album.

 

 

The Dark Side Of The Chocolate Industry: Child Labor & Slavery

Black History: Special Delivery!!

 

The cocoa bean which is used to produce chocolate grows mainly in areas of Western Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Western African countries supply more than 70% of the world’s cocoa.  Cocoa produced in West Africa is sold to many chocolate companies around the globe.  The rampant use of child labor in the production and harvesting of cocoa is beginning to receive media attention.   West African farms supply companies such as Hershey’s, Mars, and Nestle; which begs the question…….Are these companies getting rich on the backs of child labor and slavery from West African countries?
Continue reading “The Dark Side Of The Chocolate Industry: Child Labor & Slavery”

Buck Franklin: African American Lawyer Who Won Court Victory For Black Residents After 1921 The Tulsa Race Riot

Black History: Special Delivery!!

 

Buck Franklin (1879-1960) was born in Oklahoma (Chickasaw Nation Indian Territory). Franklin began his law practice in the predominately white town of Ardmore, Oklahoma. He faced much racial prejudice and witnessed first hand the discrimination that ran rampant in the legal system. As a result, Franklin decided to focus his law practice in the African American community and relocated to Rentiesville, Oklahoma. There he married Mollie Franklin and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921.
Continue reading “Buck Franklin: African American Lawyer Who Won Court Victory For Black Residents After 1921 The Tulsa Race Riot”

How African Americans Ended Up Supporting The Democratic Party

Black History: Special Delivery!!

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Dating back just one hundred years ago, the vast majority of African Americans were Republicans and not Democrats. The Republican Party was the “Party of Lincoln” the party that enacted the Emancipation Proclamation and supported Reconstruction.  Many blacks voted Republican following the Civil War through the first part of the 20th century.  Also at that time, most of the white politicians who supported segregation and governed the south were Democrats.  The Democratic Party did not officially open its doors to blacks until 1924 when they were allowed to attend the Democratic convention.  The majority of blacks at the time lived in the South, where they often prevented from even voting at all.  Starting slowly, but peaking in the 1960’s and going forward, blacks have shifted their loyalty to the Democratic Party.  The events of the civil rights movement were a catalyst for blacks to leave the Republican Party in droves.

Prior to the 1960’s, one of the initial shifts of blacks to the Democratic Party occurred during the Great Depression which lasted from 1929-1939. The Roosevelt presidential administration and its policies to bring jobs and assistance to the nations impoverished citizens made the Democratic Party very attractive to black who were experiencing the crushing blow of poverty.  Despite these gains, many blacks continued to stay affiliated with the Republican Party.  Not until Harry Truman received 77% of the black vote in 1948 did many blacks report they thought of themselves as Democrats.  This could be, due in part, to Truman issuing orders to desegregate the military.  He also issued an executive order to address racial bias in federal employment.  As late as 1960 approximately 2/3 of African Americans were affiliated with the Democratic Party.  Today the number is close to 90%.  Another major factor which contributed to the mass exodus from the Republic Party by blacks was the political agenda of US Senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was a 1964 Republican presidential nominee.  He was a 5 term US Senator from Arizona at the time of his nomination for president by the Republican Party against Lyndon Johnson.  Continue reading “How African Americans Ended Up Supporting The Democratic Party”

A Legend Honors A Legend: Stevie Wonder Reflects On Prince

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Stevie Wonder, was interviewed on CNN about how Prince influenced him.  A legend honors,  a legend!! Check out the video.

Prince Dead At 57

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Music icon Prince found dead in his home today 4/21/16. He was 57.

Check the article on CNN for more info:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/21/entertainment/prince-estate-death/index.html

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Mahala Ashley Dickerson: Legal Trailblazer And Life Long Friend Of Rosa Parks

Black History: Special Delivery!!

 

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Mahala Ashley Dickerson

 

Mahala Ashley Dickerson (1912—2007) made history, becoming the first African American female attorney to be admitted to the Alaska and Alabama bar associations. Advocacy for the poor, women, and minorities was a hallmark of her legal career. Dickerson was born in Montgomery County, outside of Montgomery, Alabama. She had two sisters, Erna and Harriet. Dickerson attended Miss White’s School For Girls, which was also known as the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls. It was a private, K-8 school for African American girls. The school was started in 1886 by two white Christian educators, Alice White and H. Margaret Beard. White and Beard desired to provide an excellent education for African American girls as well as instill a sense of confidence a pride in the girls they educated. The school also promoted racial equality. The school’s curriculum focused on Christian morality, academic courses, and vocational education. All students were required to wear uniforms and were discouraged from wearing makeup and jewelry. Surprisingly students were encouraged to wear their hair, “natural” and not straighten it. It was here that Dickerson, would meet civil rights leader, Rosa Parks, who was also a student. The two would forge a life-long friendship. Continue reading “Mahala Ashley Dickerson: Legal Trailblazer And Life Long Friend Of Rosa Parks”

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