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Building the Black MetropolisAfrican American Entrepreneurship in Chicago$
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Robert E. Weems and Jason P. Chambers

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041426

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041426.001.0001

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Robert Sengstacke Abbott, 1868–1940

Robert Sengstacke Abbott, 1868–1940

(p.44) Chapter 2 Robert Sengstacke Abbott, 1868–1940
Building the Black Metropolis

Myiti Sengstacke Rice

University of Illinois Press

From its inception the African American press was a major voice in the African American struggle against violence and discrimination. The unquestioned dean of the black press was Robert Abbott, publisher of the Chicago Defender. This chapter examines two aspects of Abbott’s life. First, it analyzes how Abbott developed and implemented his vision for building a successful business in an environment hostile to black entrepreneurial success. In doing so he helped lay the foundation of the Chicago network of mutually supporting black business people and demonstrated through his actions their role in the community. Second it illustrates how, through the Defender, Abbott and his paper served as an inspirational and intellectual leader in African American’s struggle for rights in Chicago and throughout the United States.

Keywords:   Robert Abbott, Chicago Defender, Great Migration, Anthony Overton, Pullman Porters

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