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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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King of Selling

King of Selling

The Rise and Fall of S. B. Fuller

(p.99) Chapter 5 King of Selling
Building the Black Metropolis

Clovis E. Semmes

University of Illinois Press

S.B. Fuller was one of the most successful black entrepreneurs of the twentieth century. Early on, he primarily catered to black consumers through his Fuller Products Company, a door-to-door direct sales company featuring personal care products. Later, he surreptitiously bought the previously white-owned Boyer International Laboratories whose product line included Jean Nadal cosmetics. When southern whites discovered Fuller’s ownership of Boyer International, a subsequent boycott damaged this aspect of Fuller’s business holdings. In addition, problems associated with his ownership of Chicago’s South Center commercial complex (which included the iconic Regal Theater), led to his bankruptcy. Ironically, Fuller, during his career, publicly downplayed the importance of white racism. Yet, the racially motivated boycott of Boyer International products was the catalyst for later his commercial misfortunes.

Keywords:   S.B. Fuller, Fuller Products Company, Door-to-Door Selling, Boyer International Laboratories, Regal Theater (Chicago)

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