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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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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Positive Realism

Positive Realism

Tom Burrell and the Development of Chicago as a Center for Black-O wned Advertising Agencies

(p.191) Chapter 9 Positive Realism
Building the Black Metropolis

Jason P. Chambers

University of Illinois Press

New York City’s Madison Avenue has long been considered the center of advertising in the United States. Yet for African Americans in the industry, Chicago is much more representative of their experiences in and contributions to advertising. This chapter examines the early professional and entrepreneurial life of Thomas J. Burrell, founder of Burrell Advertising. It analyzes the creation of his advertising technique known as “Positive Realism” in representing blacks’ in advertisements as well as his contributions to the development of the network of blacks Chicago’s business community. Additionally, this chapter focuses on the strategic relationships Burrell built within the advertising industry and with individuals who worked for clients like McDonald’s. These relationships enabled Burrell to build of the most successful agencies in advertising history.

Keywords:   Thomas Burrell, Burrell Advertising, Positive Realism, McDonald’s, Marlboro, Black McDonald’s Operators Association, Roland Jones, Emmett McBain, Philip Morris, Black Advertising Group

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