Beale Street Dynasty

Beale Street Dynasty

Sex, Song, and the Struggle for the Soul of Memphis

Book - 2015
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Documents the rise and fall of the legendary Memphis thoroughfare that indelibly shaped American culture, documenting its story through the life of former slave and first black millionaire Robert Church.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Description: xi, 352 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780393082579
Branch Call Number: 976.819 Chu


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Cedric_F Jul 26, 2017

This is one of the few books (three to this commenter's knowledge) that actually have the word dynasty in a title referring primarily to an African-American family. This book gives you a very clear view of Memphis during the late 1800s and a view of how a prominent African-American man, Robert Church, Sr. managed to rise from slavery to a place of power in the Memphis, TN underworld as well as become the South's "first Black millionaire". Later generations of the family would attempt to move into the political arena with some success. However, the family's influence on Memphis' political and business scenes would fade by the 1940s.

This is most certainly a 5-star title.

arbolito Jun 01, 2015

I just picked this book up because I like the song "Walkin' in Memphis" and a few pages into it I was hooked. Much of the story is told with quotes from newspaper articles from both the white and black newspapers which gives a very realistic insight into the racial tensions and delicate balances and shifting fortunes during the changing times this remarkable city has witnessed. Good author, good read.

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