Black Entrepreneurship: Contradictions, Class, and Capitalism

  • Alisha R. Winn


This article examines philosophical contradictions faced by black business owners who benefited from racial segregation, yet were often active participants in the civil rights movement. The research provides a critical analysis of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, examining and revealing conflicting ideas of class and color during Jim Crow, as well as the contradictions of gender, the company’s program to “uplift” the community, and hierarchies within the company. This case provides a unique perspective for examining black entrepreneurship, its history, and complexity in the African American community.