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Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  78 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The grandson of slaves, born into poverty in 1892 in the Deep South, A. G. Gaston died more than a century later with a fortune worth well over $130 million and a business empire spanning communications, real estate, and insurance. Gaston was, by any measure, a heroic figure whose wealth and influence bore comparison to J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. Here, for the first ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by One World/Ballantine (first published December 30th 2003)
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Heather


I had never heard of A.G. Gaston before this book showed up on Book Bub last year.  I'm glad I found out about him.  He had a remarkable life.

A.G. Gaston's grandparents were slaves.  His grandfather worked with horses and his grandmother was an accomplished cook.  These were considered "privileged" positions.  When slavery ended they stayed on working for the family that previously owned them.  His grandmother taught his mother to cook and she also earned a living working for wealthy white fami
...more
Mehrsa
Feb 11, 2017 Mehrsa rated it liked it
It was a very interesting read, but it's written by Gaston's niece so it was frustratingly biased. I would love to read more about this man and the tension of being a black millionaire and how that put him in conflict with the Civil Rights movement and there is a little in here to illuminate that struggle, but her main mission seems to be to defend Gaston against his critics.
Joel
Sep 05, 2007 Joel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Birminghamians, business people, students of African American history
At one time labeled a "Super-Uncle Tom" by Fred Shuttlesworth, A.G. Gaston was the exemplar of the Booker T. Washington philosophy of black empowerment. Raised by a mother who used her inherited talents as a cook to escape the virtual slavery of share-cropping, Gaston capitalized on his tenth-grade education to build an empire of businesses valued at $120 million when he retired. This biography, written by his niece and grandniece, chronicles Gaston's use of thrift, native business acumen, and r ...more
Gareth  Cuddy
Oct 05, 2009 Gareth Cuddy rated it it was amazing
In this candid biography, written by his niece and great-niece, Gastons life is recounted alongside the story of a changing America. Born in 1896, Gaston lived until he was 103, his life spanning eras of incredible change in the country he deeply loved even though,despite his wealth and invitations to the White House, he had to use the doors marked "Niggers/Freight" for most of his life.
This book proved to be an exceptionally easy and rewarding read. set against the dramatic backdrop of virulen
...more
LaMarr D
Mar 18, 2016 LaMarr D rated it it was amazing
As a lover of biographies, auto-biographies, and memoirs, this book is one of the best biographies I have ever read. The authors’ writing simply flowed and they seamlessly intertwined U.S. History, during the Civil Rights Era, into the context while putting the story of A.G. Gaston's life on paper. I learned so much more about the Civil Rights era from reading this book, and that compelled me to appreciate the book even more. To see the relationship between Dr. MLK and A.G. Gaston was eye-openin ...more
Mikey
Nov 05, 2010 Mikey rated it really liked it
What a great inspiration. This book should be required reading for everyone in the United States. This book is about A. G. Gaston's working life. The grandson of former slaves built an enormous empire through a time period when Negroes were on the bottom rung in America.
Kevin Bowen
Nov 21, 2016 Kevin Bowen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story not expertly written, but lovingly and honestly shared...

I had never heard of A.G. Gaston, but now I will always remember his story, his contributions and his lessons. What an amazing journey!
Sharon
Sep 18, 2016 Sharon rated it it was amazing
This book was such an inspirational look through history! It provided the knowledge that people of color can be financially successful despite the racism and negativity around them. This book should be read in history classes everywhere!
Lydell
Jul 03, 2011 Lydell rated it liked it
A business bio written by family members can have its pluses and minuses. On the one hand, the authors have access to oral histories and personal documents that can shed meaningful insight on the subject. Yet family alliances can weaken a biography in the form of self-censorship.
Cecil
Feb 29, 2012 Cecil rated it it was amazing
I read this because A G Gaston is from Demopolis and I have heard his name all my life, but knew little about him. He was a Titan - he had a 10th grade education and became a billionaire because of his 10 principles of business. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in the business profession.
Sherreka Burton
Dec 17, 2016 Sherreka Burton rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, my-people, business
An interesting part of history for sure.
Kevin Dorival
A.G. Gaston inspired me to think BIG! This guy was hustling sandwiches on his lunch break and years later became a multi-millionaire! Phenomenal!
conway wilson
Jun 15, 2016 conway wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book of a positive man

I've been reading a lot of books on black history good and bad .this is one of the better books I've read
Michael Thomas
Mar 14, 2013 Michael Thomas rated it it was amazing
Great story with some key historical value.
William
Aug 20, 2011 William rated it it was amazing
This piece of history about a man who all but financed the Civil Rights go largely unknown. His place as one of America's greatest business minds is under appreciated.
Bernard
Bernard rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2015
John Wimmer
John Wimmer rated it really liked it
May 13, 2014
Andre Benjamin
Andre Benjamin rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2015
AlTonya
AlTonya rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2008
Hencole
Hencole rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2013
Peter B.
Jun 28, 2016 Peter B. rated it it was amazing
Inspiring! A must read! A grandson of slaves, a pioneer, a heroic figure, an entrepreneur, a boss, a maverick, and a person who straight up did big things and helped so many people on the way. Thank you Carol Jenkins for sharing his story with the world. We appreciate you for this! For those that want to read more about him, you can read his autobiography: "Green Power: The Successful Way of A.G. Gaston". Peace,
A Ham
A Ham rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2015
Noah
Noah rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2016
Lauren Ashley
Lauren Ashley rated it it was ok
Oct 20, 2016
Nicole.sedgwick
Nicole.sedgwick rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2014
N'Teasha Brownlee
N'Teasha Brownlee rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2016
Bryant G
Bryant G rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2015
Shelagh
Shelagh rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2016
La Marr
La Marr rated it it was amazing
Nov 17, 2016
Jozef Syndicate
Jozef Syndicate rated it it was amazing
Mar 11, 2016
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“God first. Others second. Me third. The rules were that simple.” 2 likes
“Donating money, if you have it to give, is an easily accomplished feat. What is harder is living out the tenet of putting others before you by actually taking their needs into account before your own.” 1 likes
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