About the Event: In the wake of the racial unrest of 1968, the federal government embarked on a series of social programs designed to respond to the cries of Black communities demanding an end to police brutality, access to quality housing, and economic investment in schools and jobs. Often, these cries were not fully heeded, and the marketplace became a terrain on which corporate America and the state argued that Black lives could be improved. In this presentation on her most recent book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, historian Marcia Chatelain links the rise of black capitalism with the fracturing of the mid-century civil rights struggle and eclipsing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of economic justice. In lieu of policies that could enhance the quality of life in America’s cities, many Black neighborhoods were offered fast food outlets, low-wage work, and an enmeshed relationship with corporate benevolence.
About the Speaker: Marcia Chatelain is Professor of History and African-American Studies at Georgetown University. The author of books, South Side Girls and Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America. Her work has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Nation, and The Washington Post.