Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America

Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America Book Summary

Often blamed for the rising rates of obesity and diabetes among black Americans, fast food restaurants like McDonald’s have long symbolized capitalism’s villainous effects on our nation’s most vulnerable communities. But how did fast food restaurants so thoroughly saturate black neighborhoods in the first place? In Franchise, acclaimed historian Marcia Chatelain uncovers a surprising history of cooperation among fast food companies, black capitalists, and civil rights leaders, who—in the troubled years after King’s assassination—believed they found an economic answer to the problem of racial inequality. With the discourse of social welfare all but evaporated, federal programs under presidents Johnson and Nixon promoted a new vision for racial justice: that the franchising of fast food restaurants, by black citizens in their own neighborhoods, could finally improve the quality of black life. Synthesizing years of research, Franchise tells a troubling success story of an industry that blossomed the very moment a freedom movement began to wither.

Title:Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
Edition Language:English



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    Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America Reviews

  • Mehrsa

    Essential and necessary book in finally telling the history of black capitalism. Using The Macdonald’s franchise as a point of tension between capitalism, community spaces, and civil rights. There a...

  • Temika

    This is a must read for anyone thinking about becoming a franchisee for any fast food company in a black or brown neighborhood. Many times, black capitalism is preached and pushed onto African America...

  • Joshunda Sanders

    Franchise is a searing and incisive look at the consequences of a successful pairing of black capitalism with the rise of fast food franchising. It is a sweeping history of the fight for black franchi...

  • Athan Tolis

    I enjoyed reading this. The author admits in the Acknowledgements that she essentially grew up at McDonalds. If you want the story of how fast food, and McDonalds in particular, came of age inside the...

  • Sarah Critchley

    This was one of the most frustrating books to read as an audiobook - I really wanted to be underlining, annotating, and be able to flip back to certain pages. Also, the audiobook didn't have the list ...

  • Steve Peifer

    This is a book that works on so many levels. I read with shame for being clueless about what people of color went through trying, among many other things, to find a restaurant that would feed them. It...

  • Jessica

    Marcia Chatelain’s Franchise contributes to the literature on capitalism and black America by focusing on McDonalds and its relationship with black, inner city neighborhoods. Beginning with the rise...

  • CJ

    Incredibly detailed as the book weaves McDonalds and civil rights history. Portrays “Capitalism’s ability to satisfy some of our most personal needs while starving our collective present and futur...

  • Lois

    Never made all of the connections that Dr. Chatelain does here in telling the complex and intertwined history of fast food and African American entrepreneurs. As the author gave a memorable talk at ou...

  • Marian P

    Marcia Chatelain, an associate professor of history and African American Studies at Georgetown University, has written a powerful book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America that examines the ...