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Journal Article

The Black Businessman in the Postwar South: North Carolina, 1865-1880

Robert C. Kenzer
The Business History Review
Vol. 63, No. 1, Entrepreneurs in Business History (Spring, 1989), pp. 61-87
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3115426
Page Count: 29
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The Black Businessman in the Postwar South: North Carolina, 1865-1880
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Abstract

This article uses the R. G. Dun and Company credit ratings to analyze North Carolina black businessmen and their firms in the fifteen years following the Civil War. When combined with data in local histories and in the federal census, the credit ratings reveal how the postbellum black business community, especially the mulatto population, was significantly shaped by antebellum emancipation. Blacks who shared the advantage of prewar freedom employed their superior financial resources and business experience to dominate their local economies after the war. Further, both as individuals and collectively, blacks used their newly acquired political power to foster economic opportunities in ways hitherto unrecognized by both political and business history scholars.

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