Discover & Celebrate the Trailblazing Works of Black Entrepreneurial Authors

Black entrepreneurship has been a hallmark of excellence and innovation for generations. Despite facing significant obstacles, including systemic racism and prejudice, African American entrepreneurs have consistently demonstrated an unwavering determination to succeed and make a lasting impact. This same spirit of perseverance and drive is evident in the works of African American authors who have blazed new trails in the literary world. These trailblazing writers have changed the course of literary history and inspired millions of readers around the world. Whether through their insightful commentary on business, their powerful depictions of the African American experience, or their captivating narratives that explore the human condition, these authors have left a long-lasting legacy that will continue to inspire future generations for years to come.

Here is a list of Black authors who have written books about entrepreneurship:

The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage

The instant New York Times bestseller from Shark Tank star and Fubu Founder Daymond John on why starting a business on a limited budget can be an entrepreneur’s greatest competitive advantage.

Daymond John has embraced the concept of “the power of broke” ever since he began selling his hand-stitched t-shirts on the streets of Queens with only a $40 budget. He was forced to think creatively in order to promote his products, and his desperation led to an innovative campaign that launched the FUBU brand into a multibillion-dollar success.

John, the founder of FUBU and a star on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” demonstrates that starting a business with limited resources can actually be a competitive advantage. Being broke forces entrepreneurs to be more resourceful, to connect with their customers more authentically, and to market their ideas in unique and imaginative ways. It requires them to stay focused on their goals and come up with innovative solutions to achieve success.

Through his own experiences, behind-the-scenes insights from “Shark Tank,” and stories of other successful entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity, John shows how we can all harness the power of broke to achieve phenomenal success. You’ll meet:

  • Steve Aoki, the electronic dance music (EDM) deejay who managed to parlay a series of $100 gigs into becoming a global superstar who has redefined the music industry
  • Gigi Butler, a cleaning lady from Nashville who built a cupcake empire on the back of a family  recipe, her maxed-out credit cards, and a heaping dose of faith
  • 11-year-old Shark Tank guest Mo Bridges, who stitched together a winning clothing line with just his grandma’s sewing machine, a stash of loose fabric, and his unique sartorial flair

When facing challenging circumstances with limited financial resources, relying on creativity and passion can be your ticket to success. This book shows you how to harness the Power of Broke to overcome obstacles, work hard, and turn your aspirations into reality.

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class

In this insightful book, John Hope Bryant, the founder of Operation HOPE and a successful entrepreneur, presents a plan for reviving the American dream through investing in the education and prosperity of marginalized communities. He delves into the historical causes of poverty, critiques the shortcomings of current solutions, and outlines the HOPE Plan, a series of clear and implementable steps aimed at promoting financial literacy and increasing opportunities. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of the American economy, yet many individuals struggle to make ends meet. Bryant demonstrates how a thriving economy that benefits everyone, not just the wealthy 1% or even the majority 99%, can be achieved.


Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World

In “Love Leadership”, the author, who is the founder of Operation HOPE and has served as an advisor to two U.S. presidents, argues that the key to success is to focus on giving rather than solely on receiving. The book is targeted towards a new generation of leaders and provides relevance to the current economic situation. The author outlines his five laws of love-based leadership: Loss Leads to Leadership (strength is only gained through overcoming challenges), Fear is Futile (respect and love are the keys to success), Love is Lucrative (true wealth stems from love), Vulnerability Equals Strength (opening up to others leads to greater connections), and Giving Leads to Gaining (the more you give, the more you will receive in return).


Up from Nothing: The Untold Story of How We (All) Succeed

In this work, this best-selling author and entrepreneur details the mindset and techniques required to attain the American Dream, regardless of one’s current situation.

With the current economy presenting a host of challenges, many Americans are losing hope of improving their lives. However, John Hope Bryant believes that America remains a land of opportunities. He aims to rekindle the forgotten story of the American Dream with his book, “Up from Nothing”. The book tells the tale of the nation’s history as a hub of go-getters who believed in their success before they actually achieved it.

Drawing on his own rise from humble beginnings and that of his ancestors, Bryant demonstrates how we can change our mindset from just getting by to thriving and winning. He believes that as a nation, we need to embrace this winning mentality once again.

Bryant’s solution is to provide access to the Five Pillars of Success- education, financial literacy, strong family values, self-esteem, and role models- to every stakeholder in America. He emphasizes the need to put aside distractions such as political disputes or societal divisions, and focus on what we can control. This book is not just about finding better job opportunities or making more money. It’s about adopting a new way of thinking that will lead to a more fulfilling and successful life. “Up from Nothing” is a modern take on the traditional American Dream and a blueprint for ensuring the continued success of the country.


The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation

According to John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation HOPE, true power in the world stems from economic independence. Unfortunately, many individuals struggle with financial instability and are left with insufficient funds at the end of each month. In his teachings, Bryant sheds light on a hidden path to liberation and aims to empower people through his message. He argues that the majority of individuals in poverty, referred to by him as the “invisible class,” and those in the struggling middle class, have not yet fully understood the concept of financial freedom.

Drawing from his own journey of rising from financial adversity and his work with Operation HOPE, Bryant outlines five principles for achieving financial independence. He stresses the importance of both “inner capital” (such as mindset, relationships, knowledge, and spirit) and “outer capital” (financial wealth and property) in achieving financial freedom. According to Bryant, having inner capital means you can never truly be poor while lacking it means all the wealth in the world cannot bring you freedom.

Bryant provides practical tools for empowering individuals, ranging from financial literacy to the development of positive relationships and a new approach to wealth. He controversially states that once basic needs such as food, water, health, and shelter are met, poverty has more to do with one’s mindset than their wallet.

Bryant’s goal is to restore readers’ “silver rights” and enable them to succeed and prosper, despite any obstacles they may face. He emphasizes that we have more power than we realize and that we must recognize and claim it. According to Bryant, we are our own first capital and the CEOs of our own lives.

HIP HOP 2 HOMEOWNERS: How WE Build Wealth in America!

In popular culture, we’ve developed a tendency to live in the present, enjoying ourselves and embracing the mindset of “living every day like it’s our last.” This philosophy is rooted in the experiences and lifestyles of those on the streets, who may be involved in illegal activities. The urgency to make memories stems from the reality that someday they may be facing time in prison. The author can personally attest to this perspective.

Rachel Rodgers

We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power

Only 10% of the world’s millionaires are women, making it challenging for women to attain economic power that can foster lasting equality. This book is here to help you overcome any obstacle that might be holding you back from reaching seven-figure wealth – be it lack of confidence, ignorance of wealth-building strategies, imposter syndrome, negative money mindset or not knowing where to start.

“We Should All Be Millionaires” will transform your perception of money and your earning potential. Rachel Rodgers, a self-made millionaire, attorney, business owner, and mother of four, shares her journey to wealth and her experience of coaching hundreds of women to seven figures.

You’ll discover:

  • How earning more money is not only a necessity but a revolutionary act that brings economic balance and benefits society.
  • That the financial advice you’ve been hearing (like “skip your daily latte to save money”) is patriarchal nonsense.
  • The history of how women and people of color have been excluded from wealth-building opportunities and how we can change that.
  • How to stop making poor decisions that drain you financially and emotionally and instead make million-dollar decisions.
  • The importance of setting higher goals than just earning $100K per year.
  • Strategies to increase your income and grow your savings, including Rachel’s $10K in 10 Days Challenge, which has been completed successfully by hundreds of women.

It’s time to change your attitude towards money, take control, and secure your financial future so you can thrive, not just survive.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Wealth from $1: The Black Wealth Masterclass

Start your journey towards financial literacy, wealth building and generating prosperity for generations to come with this EXCELLENT resource. For people of color, financial literacy is the key to reaching our goals and creating a lasting legacy. It equips us with the knowledge and freedom to chart our own financial course and instills a renewed sense of confidence and influence in our financial dealings. Each chapter of the book delves into the flow of money in our communities, the fundamentals of wealth creation and, most notably, the strategies to build wealth at every stage of life. If you’re eager to take control of your finances, secure your future and impart financial wisdom to your family and community, grab a copy of A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Wealth from $1.


Paris Woods

The Black Girl’s Guide to Financial Freedom: Build Wealth, Retire Early, and Live the Life of Your Dreams

Tired of aimlessly following financial advice that only leaves you worse off? Frustrated with trying to navigate the complex instructions given by experts? Look no further than The Black Girl’s Guide to Financial Freedom by Paris Woods.

Paris, who has a background in education, set out to find a simpler way to build wealth without having to change careers or follow the conventional routes of real estate or business. The result of her extensive research and personal experience is an audiobook that removes the confusion from wealth-building and provides a straightforward plan for anyone to follow.

Through relatable stories and clear, actionable advice, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create lasting wealth for future generations
  • Steer clear of common financial pitfalls
  • Earn your next degree without debt
  • Attain financial independence and retire early
  • Design the life you’ve always dreamed of and start living it today

This audiobook is ideal for Black women at any stage of their lives, including those who are just starting to set financial goals and mid-career women who are seeking a change from traditional methods and want to live life on their own terms. If your goal is to achieve freedom, then this is the audiobook for you.

Get your copy now!

How to Succeed in Business Without Being White: Straight Talk on Making It in America

An aspiring African American entrepreneur’s guide to success in corporate America, providing insight on how to tackle business challenges and make the most of available opportunities.

Robert Wallace

BLACK WEALTH: Your Road to Small Business Success

According to history, wealth is a direct correlate to power. Robert Wallace, an author, entrepreneur, and management consultant, believes that wealth is the missing piece in the African-American community’s pursuit of power. In his book “Black Wealth: Your Road to Small Business Success,” Wallace highlights that while there has been progress in ethnic solidarity and political power among African Americans, the creation of personal wealth in the community has not kept pace.

Starting a business can seem daunting, but Wallace provides expert guidance on how to create and grow a successful enterprise. He draws from his extensive research and highlights the skills and strategies of successful African-American and female entrepreneurs through inspiring case studies. The book culminates in the Wallace 4 Quadrant Model For Entrepreneurial Success, a roadmap that aspiring entrepreneurs can use to achieve similar success in their own careers, despite obstacles such as racism and sexism.


Black Wealth Through Black Entrepreneurship

This timely work showcases ten genuine case studies of successful black entrepreneurs. Robert L. Wallace, a highly regarded business consultant and entrepreneur, who previously facilitated the renowned Minority Business Executive Program at Dartmouth College, offers a blend of instructional, issue-focused, and practical advice for today’s black entrepreneurs.


The True Cost of Happiness: The Real Story Behind Managing Your Money

Making Smart Personal Finance Decisions with The True Cost of Happiness

Financial journalist Stacey Tisdale and expert financial planner Paula Boyer Kennedy share their vast financial expertise and real-life experiences in The True Cost of Happiness to help you make informed personal finance decisions.

They delve into the underlying factors that influence our financial choices and behavior, which also define our sense of self. The authors then show how this understanding is crucial in creating financial harmony that aligns with our values and supports the life we want to live. The questions they raise are thought-provoking, but critical, as a misalignment between our financial choices and values can lead to anxiety and dissatisfaction.

In this book, you will learn:

  • How childhood lessons on money shape our adult financial behavior
  • The impact of societal norms on our financial decisions
  • The potential blind spots that can prevent us from making the best financial choices on issues such as debt, savings, and investments
  • Strategies for creating a financial plan that leads to true happiness.

The True Cost of Happiness is filled with insightful advice and practical tips that will put you on the path to living a life that stays true to who you are.

Kingonomics: Twelve Innovative Currencies for Transforming Your Business and Life Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Many are familiar with the grand vision of equality and freedom advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but not as many are aware of his strong focus on economic issues, especially in his later years. To Dr. King, economic opportunity was a prerequisite for happiness, and it was while organizing the Poor People’s March, a bold stand for economic justice, that his life was tragically cut short. In his final book, he asked the question, “Where do we go from here?” The answer can be found in “Kingonomics,” a contemporary interpretation of his economic views by Dr. Rodney Sampson, a renowned global economic leader, business developer, and successful entrepreneur.

In this revolutionary new work, Sampson incorporates 12 currencies (such as service, innovation, and reciprocity) drawn from Dr. King’s life and ideas, and applies them to real-world scenarios to help readers unlock their full potential and personal power. Success knows no bounds, and the path to it is outlined in the pages of this transformative guide.


Black Trillions: Introducing Symbiotic Economics

In 2010, Black America is poised to enter into a trillion-dollar economy. In 2006, the combined purchasing power of Blacks in America was over $800 billion per year. If Black America were a sovereign state, it would be the 9th largest nation globally. Regrettably, the majority of these dollars are invested in depreciating assets instead of appreciating assets. However, this trend is rapidly changing.

The trillions generated by Black Americans have the potential to set a revolutionary precedent, positioning the Black community to lead the way in shaping a new era of social prosperity, prosumerism, and success on a global scale.

This economic force presents a challenge for leaders in business, community, and faith to form a symbiotic relationship aimed at rejuvenating our communities, schools, and neighborhoods. The next trillion dollars generated by this community should be directed toward local and global transformation.

Expect to Win: Proven Strategies for Success from a Wall Street Vet

As she climbed the corporate ladder, Carla Harris sought advice from her mentors and superiors, but found some of their counsel to be too vague. As her career progressed, Carla discovered the key strategies for success in business and vowed to provide specific, actionable advice to those who sought her guidance when she reached a senior management position.

Expect to Win, a book by Carla Harris, is a collection of lessons she has learned over her 20 years in the finance industry. Each chapter is filled with “pearls” of wisdom that can help readers navigate the complexities and challenges of the workplace, leading to greater career success.

Carla Harris is a seasoned Wall Street professional, having played a key role in executing the IPOs for companies such as UPS, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and Redback, as well as a $3.2 billion common stock transactions for Immunex, one of the largest biotech offerings in U.S. history. Expect to Win provides battle-tested strategies and tools to overcome common career challenges and achieve maximum success in any field, making it a must-read for anyone looking to advance their career.


Black Business Secrets: 500 Tips, Strategies, and Resources for the African American Entrepreneur

The book, Black Business Secrets, delves into the essential entrepreneurial skills required for African-American business owners to thrive in a challenging business environment where the majority of start-ups fail within three years.

This guide, written by Lee, is a must-read for both aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals looking to make a career change. The author’s empowering mantra, “don’t be a worrier, be a warrior,” sets the tone for the book, offering practical advice and proven strategies for business success and survival. Topics covered include personal branding and best practices in business operations.

Black Enterprise Lessons from the Top: Success Strategies from America’s Leading Black CEOs

The book, Lessons from the Top, challenges the conventional perception of entrepreneurs by highlighting the inspiring and dynamic careers of African American executives who overcame social, economic, and political obstacles to attain their well-deserved place among the business elite.

These African American entrepreneurs, documented in Lessons from the Top, represent the legacy of the 20th century and the promise of the 21st century. The principles and lessons shared by these successful business leaders are crucial for the future of the civil rights movement, as we strive towards self-reliance and economic independence for future generations.

The book features the careers of 11 of the nation’s top and most influential CEOs, who lead some of the largest black-owned businesses across various industries. These captivating stories of personal triumph and business success will serve as a beacon of inspiration for the next generation of African American business leaders.

Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out

Farrah Gray is a remarkable young man who went from receiving public assistance to amassing a million dollar net worth. He shares his story and provides nine crucial principles for success in his book, Reallionaire. At just 14 years old, Farrah sold his first business for over a million dollars, which he invested in a partnership with Inner City Broadcasting, one of the leading African-American businesses in the country. He is now leading the relaunch of their signature magazine, InnerCity.

Farrah is the only African-American teenager to become a business mogul without a family connection or being in the entertainment industry, according to People magazine. From a young age, Farrah was determined to provide for his family. At six years old, his mother fell ill and he spent his first $50 on a family dinner. By the age of eight, he had founded his first business club and was well on his way to success.

Farrah’s progress is marked by the principles of success he learned along the way, making his story not only an inspiring journey but also a guide for others to achieve success with honor, charity, and compassion.

Reallionaire is both an instructional book and a motivational story, in the tradition of great leaders and motivators. Whether you’re interested in business or not, Farrah is a role model for everyone, serving as a 21st-century Les Brown.


The Truth Shall Make You Right: The New Road Map to Radical Prosperity

Growing up in the impoverished South Side of Chicago, Farrah Gray overcame the odds and achieved millionaire status at the age of 14. He was the youngest individual to have an office on Wall Street and the youngest to receive an honorary doctorate. At 24, he was a bestselling author and an inspiration to millions with his book, Reallionaire, which was a #1 Essence Bestseller.

In “The Truth Shall Make You Rich,” Farrah Gray uncovers the secret to his success by rejecting the seven common misconceptions about money and success: the Born Lucky Lie, the Celebrity Lie, the Money Lie, the Debt Lie, the Google and Gates Lie, the Wall Street Lie, and the Work-Hard Lie. By exposing the truth behind these myths, Farrah empowers readers to forge their own paths and achieve financial success.


Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You from Success

Growing up as the youngest of five children in the impoverished South Side of Chicago with a single parent, Farrah Gray defied the odds by becoming a millionaire at the age of 14. He went on to make his second million by 16 and continues to inspire thousands through his speaking engagements, writing, and consulting work. The key to his success is a combination of attitude, hustle, and his rejection of the common misconceptions about money and success.

In “Get Real, Get Rich,” Farrah exposes these seven lies one by one. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t be rich because you don’t have special talents or connections, then you’ve fallen for The Born Lucky Lie. Farrah will help you move beyond this limiting mindset and show you that luck is simply about being in the right place at the right time.

If you believe that you need money to make money, then you’re subscribing to The Money Lie. In reality, the path to wealth starts with just one dollar, and Farrah can help you find that first step. By breaking down these misconceptions, Farrah empowers readers to achieve financial success.

  • “I have to hit it big in entertainment or sports to be rich” (The Celebrity Lie).
  • “I have to work hard and make sacrifices to be rich” (The Work Hard Lie).
    I have to have zero debt to be rich” (The Debt Lie).
  • “I have to be super smart or invent something the world relies on to be rich” (The Google and Gates Lie).
  • “I have to know a lot about the stock market or work on the Street to be rich” (The Wall Street Lie)


In seven simple and provocative chapters, blending inspiration and an actionable wealth-building plan, Farrah lays out your road map to a richer life.


The Young Man’s Guide to Entrepreneurship: 16 Things You Need to Know

This comprehensive guide, packed with 16 must-know insights, is designed specifically for young men eager to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship and business ownership. Based on my personal experience as an entrepreneur, it offers practical and relevant advice that I wish I had received before embarking on this journey. So, whether you’re just starting out or well on your way, take the time to educate yourself with this easy-to-follow guide filled with real-life wisdom. Read on and thrive!


Doni M. Glover

I Am Black Wall Street

Being an entrepreneur is not a simple task, especially for Black individuals in America where the challenges are often greater. However, in “I Am Black Wall Street”, author Doni Glover provides aspiring business owners with the motivation to overcome any obstacle that may come their way by sharing the success stories of their ancestors. Instead of focusing on the widely known bitter-sweet history of Tulsa’s famous Black Wall Street, Glover delves into the story behind the story. He examines the events and individuals that led Black people to Oklahoma, uncovering the fact that the entrepreneurial spirit of Black Wall Street was rooted in a 500-year legacy of freedom colonies.

Glover sheds light on little-known slave insurrections across the Western Hemisphere and the leaders behind them, from South America to Spanish Florida. He highlights the history of maroon colonies, which were havens for escaped slaves, and features figures such as Black Seminole Chief John Horse, abolitionist John Brown, and Exoduster leader “Pap” Singleton. Glover argues that if Blacks were able to establish freedom colonies and build thriving communities like Black Wall Street in the 1800s, then a Black individual can certainly start and succeed in a business in America today.

This book is a must-read for those who want to discover the hidden history and be inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Black individuals. It will show that this new generation of entrepreneurs stands on the broad shoulders of giants who were masters of their own destinies. “I Am Black Wall Street” is part of the ORIGINAL Black Wall Street SERIES, which honors over 1,700 Black entrepreneurs and professionals through the Joe Manns Awards and the support of and its partners.

HOW TO BE In the Entertainment Business

A Beginner’s Guide to Success in the Entertainment Industry: How to Become a Record Company, Record Producer, Music Publisher, Personal Manager, Film Producer, or Book Publisher, including information on contracts in the Music, Film, Television, and Book Publishing industries.

When Black & White Make Green: The Next Evolution in Business & Race

When Black and White Make Green is an engaging business tale that provides insight into the future of business and race. Packed with innovative tactics and revolutionary thinking, this book is a must-read for business leaders seeking to understand the potential of supplier diversity and economic inclusion. The author, Dr. Gravely, has drawn from extensive research to bring you fresh ideas that will keep you ahead of the curve in today’s diverse global market. Whether you’re looking to stay competitive or simply want to stay informed, this compelling book is an entertaining and enlightening read.

When Black and White Make Green, answer the questions that are on everyone’s mind but are too often too sensitive to ask:

  • Why does access to markets and capital, not equal success?
  • Why do we keep investing more and getting less in return for our efforts?
  • Why won’t what we are doing now ever get us the results we expect?
  • Why do corporate spending levels with minority businesses really not matter?
  • Why is it imperative there be a significant minority business community?
  • What do we do next in supplier diversity?


Market Women: Black Women Entrepreneurs: Past, Present, and Future When Black & White Make Green: The Next Evolution in Business & Race

Contrary to widespread misconceptions, women from the African Diaspora have been participating in economic and leadership endeavors throughout history. Black women globally draw from a legacy of thousands of years of strategies that have helped them overcome the obstacles they face as women of color. However, today, black women are still marginalized by a financial and economic community dominated by white men.

In her book “Market Women,” Cheryl Smith, an educator, activist, and entrepreneur, corrects this incorrect notion. Smith draws on various disciplines to trace the roots of black women’s entrepreneurship in the United States. She features in-depth interviews with 19 modern-day entrepreneurs from diverse businesses, such as catering, bookselling, millinery, and construction. Smith unveils a business approach centered on personal relationships, resource pooling, a sense of humor, apprenticeships, mentoring, and strong mother-daughter bonds that challenge traditional views of business success, wealth creation, and power. Through this, she provides a voice for a long-neglected group, and their business struggles and triumphs illuminate universal themes that transcend race and gender.

The end result is a fresh and enlightening study of business and an inspiring account of success against all odds.

The African American Entrepreneur: Challenges and Opportunities in the Trump Era

The African American Entrepreneur: Second Edition delves into the ongoing issue of the lower financial standing of African Americans in the United States, which can be traced back to the country’s history of enslavement, segregation, and racial discrimination.

The book examines the various elements, such as legal, historical, sociological, economic, and political, that contribute to the current economic state of African Americans, starting from their arrival in America to the present day. It also highlights the remarkable achievements of black entrepreneurs, even before the end of slavery and the Civil War.

The first part of the book takes a look at the evolution of African American entrepreneurship, from slavery to the present, while the second part serves as a comprehensive guide and blueprint for those hoping to become successful entrepreneurs.


The African American Entrepreneur: Then and Now

African American entrepreneurship has been a fundamental part of the American economy since the 1600s. Despite facing challenges such as slavery, segregation, and limited access to resources, African Americans have been successful in building their wealth, with a collective earning of $744 billion in 2006, surpassing the GDP of all but 15 nations globally. This book provides an insightful look into the world of black entrepreneurship, both past and present, and encourages African Americans to pursue financial independence through business ownership.

This book also shines a light on the legal, historical, sociological, and political factors that have contributed to the lower economic status of African Americans. It highlights the many incredible achievements made by black entrepreneurs throughout history, from before the Civil War and Emancipation to the present day, featuring profiles of well-known figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Magic Johnson, and Michelle Hoskins, among others.

By reading about these successful African American entrepreneurs, readers can be inspired to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and strive towards financial success. Rogers outlines the essential skills, tools, and information needed to be successful in business, providing a roadmap for prosperity for all African Americans.


Think Black: A Memoir

In this poignant and gut-wrenching memoir, a renowned author recounts the story of his father, John Stanley Ford, who was IBM’s first African American software engineer, shedding light on the devastating impact of racism on his father’s self-esteem and their relationship.

In 1947, Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, set out to hire the best and brightest minds for his company. During his search, he met John Stanley Ford, a young accounting student at City College, and offered him the position of IBM’s first black software engineer. Despite the company’s efforts to humiliate, undermine, and subvert Ford, he refused to give up, viewing this opportunity as a lifetime dream. He relied on his community and street smarts to succeed, unaware that his hiring was merely a distraction from IBM’s unethical practices, including its involvement in the Holocaust, eugenics, and apartheid.

Although Ford remained at IBM, it took a tremendous emotional toll on him and his family, particularly on his son Clyde. Overlooked for promotions he rightfully deserved, Ford became embittered and began attributing his fate to his skin color, leading to deeply held beliefs that darker-skinned individuals were intellectually inferior, which created a painful rift between him and Clyde.

When Clyde joined IBM two decades later, he made a statement with his unique style, wearing a wide-lapel suit, bright red turtleneck, and a large afro, but the company had not changed. As he experienced the same institutional racism that his father had endured, Clyde began to grasp the subtle and courageous ways his father had fought back against it.


Shop Books by Black Authors

Explore Black-Owned Businesses


  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment

    ARE YOU Keeping Up?

    we’re pushin’ Black-Owned Businesses!

    Subscribe for updates, Deals & More from BOA!