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Download Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire Audiobook, by Carol Jenkins Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (19 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carol Jenkins, Elizabeth Gardner Hines Narrator: Susan Spain Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781440759994
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The grandson of slaves, born into poverty in 1892 in the Deep South, A. G. Gaston died more than a century later with a fortune worth well over $130 million and a business empire spanning communications, real estate, and insurance. Gaston was, by any measure, a heroic figure whose wealth and influence bore comparison to J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. Here, for the first time, is the story of the life of this extraordinary pioneer, told by his niece and grandniece, the award-winning television journalist Carol Jenkins and her daughter, Elizabeth Gardner Hines.

Born at a time when the bitter legacy of slavery and Reconstruction still poisoned the lives of black Americans, Gaston was determined to make a difference for himself and his people. His first job, after serving in the celebrated all-black regiment during World War I, bound him to the near-slavery of an Alabama coal mine—but even here Gaston saw not only hope but opportunity. He launched a business selling lunches to fellow miners, soon established a rudimentary bank—and from then on there was no stopping him. A kind of black Horatio Alger, Gaston let a single, powerful question be his guide: What do our people need now? His success flowed from an uncanny genius for knowing the answer.

Combining rich family lore with a deep knowledge of American social and economic history, Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Hines unfold Gaston’s success story against the backdrop of a century of crushing racial hatred and bigotry. Gaston not only survived the hardships of being black during the Depression, he flourished, and by the 1950s he was ruling a Birmingham-based business empire. When the movement for civil rights swept through the South in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Gaston provided critical financial support to many activists.

At the time of his death in 1996, A. G. Gaston was one of the wealthiest black men in America, if not the wealthiest. But his legacy extended far beyond the monetary. He was a man who had proved it was possible to overcome staggering odds and make a place for himself as a leader, a captain of industry, and a far-sighted philanthropist. Writing with grace and power, Jenkins and Hines bring their distinguished ancestor fully to life. Black Titan is the story of a man who created his own future—and in the process blazed a future for all black businesspeople in America.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mikey | 3/20/2013

    " What a great inspiration. This book should be required reading for everyone in the United States. This book is about A. G. Gaston's working life. The grandson of former slaves built an enormous empire through a time period when Negroes were on the bottom rung in America. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 3/7/2012

    " This piece of history about a man who all but financed the Civil Rights go largely unknown. His place as one of America's greatest business minds is under appreciated. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lydell | 2/29/2012

    " A business bio written by family members can have its pluses and minuses. On the one hand, the authors have access to oral histories and personal documents that can shed meaningful insight on the subject. Yet family alliances can weaken a biography in the form of self-censorship. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Thomas | 10/17/2011

    " Great story with some key historical value. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cecil | 6/26/2009

    " I read this because A G Gaston is from Demopolis and I have heard his name all my life, but knew little about him. He was a Titan - he had a 10th grade education and became a billionaire because of his 10 principles of business. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in the business profession. "

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About the Author

Carol Jenkins, niece of A. G. Gaston, is an Emmy Award–winning television journalist and now heads her own production company in New York City, specializing in television films and documentaries. For nearly twenty-five years she was an anchor and correspondent for WNBC-TV in New York.

About the Narrator

Susan Spain has appeared on stages in New York City, across the United States, and in Europe. Performances includes roles in an international production of The Best of Broadway and a staging of Little Shop of Horrors at the Smithsonian Institute’s Folklife Festival in Washington, DC. She has also appeared in Hair.