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11.05.2020 - 17:00


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From the Kitchen Table to Wall Street: A Brief Study of African American Entrepreneurs

Virtual C.IAS Guest Lecture by Tracey Salisbury (California State University, Bakersfield) on African American entrepreneurism

As part of the research project "Interpreneurship: Styria meets the USA" (funded by the Land Steiermark, Referat Wissenschaft und Forschung), the Center for Inter-American Studies cordially invites you to join us for a virtual guest lecture (powered by Zoom). It is our distinct pleasure to welcome Dr. Tracey Salisbury (California State University, Bakersfield) who will speak on African American entrepreneurism. 

The American entrepreneurial spirit is as American as apple pie. However, the top tier of real-life and fictional examples of American entrepreneurs is usually occupied by white men. This talk seeks to critique the normative whiteness of American entrepreneurism and showcase evidence of successful black entrepreneurial acumen beyond the culturally circumscribed fields reserved to black business and black success (e.g. the entertainment industry and sports).

One of the simplest ideas of capitalism is supply and demand, but for many African American entrepreneurs, particularly African American women, the marketplace has been exclusionary or flat-out resistant to the wants and needs of the African American consumer. African American entrepreneurs have turned the tables on capitalism time and again by meeting the demands of the African American community with their own unique supply chain. Madame CJ Walker is one of the greatest historical examples of this kind of innovative black business model. How did she achieve her business success and what is the legacy of her business empire? The answers to those questions are complex, but the blueprint Madame CJ Walker introduced to other aspiring black entrepreneurs continues to be used today with similar success. Yet, the question remains whether this continuing strength of Walker's business model is positive or negative for American society at large.

We will convene virtually on Monday, May 11 at 5 pm (CEST). The guest talk will take place in a secure, virtual, real-time, audio-video environment powered by Zoom. In order to receive your Zoom session key, you are asked to register for the event by Sunday, May 10 at 1 pm (CEST). Please register with Dr. Stefan Rabitsch at stefan.rabitsch(at)uni-graz.at. Participants who are registered will receive their Zoom session key via email in the morning of May 11. We recommend that participants install the free Zoom app (no subscription required) for a better, interactive experience (see links below).

We are looking forward to welcoming you at Dr. Salisbury’s talk.

Tracey Salisbury is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Arts & Humanities at California State University, Bakersfield, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2017.

>> Poster (pdf)

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