"IT PUTS AMERICA AND THE WORLD FINGER-TIPS AWAY FROM AMERICA'S BLACK BUSINESSES": EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION OF THE AMERICAN BLACK DIRECTORY, 1975, INSCRIBED BY THE EDITOR, LESLIE GATHERIGHT, JR.
GATHERIGHT, Lesly, Jr. American Black Directory. Chicago, Illinois: Quiz-Set, 1975. Folio (7 by 11 inches), staple-bound as issued, original printed green paper wrappers. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
First edition of this directory of Black-owned businesses, Black professionals, and Black skilled workers from coast to coast, meant to generate billions for the American Black business community, inscribed on the title page in the year of publication: "To Lester Jackson. Thanks & Good Luck. L. Gatheright. 1975."
A later counterpart to the famous Green Book that helped black motorists find safe businesses, the post-segregation American Black Directory aimed to direct the Black community to Black-owned businesses nationwide. The editor, Lesly Gatheright, Jr., recognized the immense buying power of the American Black community and the potential for a Blacks supporting Blacks campaign to generate billions in revenue. Traveling all over the country for months and personally visiting businesses, Gatheright managed to compile this listing of black-owned businesses "from coast to coast," divided by city and by type of business. Despite other commitments in areas such as insurance and food contracting, Gatheright returned repeatedly to activism and promoting Black-owner businesses. Whether using his knowledge of the Black business community to help facilitate boycotts in segregated areas or demanding that the Las Vegas tourism community give Black business owners their fair share, Gatheright continually fought for the equal representation of Black Americans in business. The inscribee, Lester Jackson, may possibly be Lester George Jackson III, the professor, Georgia state senator, and DNC appointee. We have not been able to verify that the inscription is in the author's hand.
Only a few small sports of soiling to interior, marginal clipping—likely owner information—from last leaf of text, minor adhesive staining to rear wrapper, light wear and soiling to wrappers. An extremely good copy.