February 26, 2018 | SuzyQ
The surprising history of America's first black millionaires - former slaves who endured incredible challenges to amass and maintain their wealth for a century, from the Jacksonian period to the Roaring Twenties - self-made entrepreneurs whose unknown success mirrored that of American business heroes such as Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison. Between the years of 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of smart, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success. This is their story.
In a reconfigured farmhouse just a mile outside of the city limits of Detroit, a Jesuit priest and 25 men, women, and children gathered to celebrate Sunday mass on March 19, 1922. The Reverend Jogn McNichols named the Catholic mission church, Gesu, the Italian word for "Jesus." Gesu became one of Detroit's landmark parishes. At it's peak in the mid-1960s, Gesu School enrolled 1,600 students. Because of Detroit's decline and racial and econimic struggles, Gesu is one of only four Catholic elementary schools that remain in the city..