A Beer for the People: Black Capitalism and the Brewing Industry in Civil Rights Era Wisconsin
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Christopher D Cantwell
Jennifer A Jordan, Amanda I Seligman
Beer, Black Capitalism, Brewing, Capitalism, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The term “Black Capitalism” was coined by Richard Nixon during the 1968 presidentialcampaign as a means of both quelling the unrest of the previous decade regarding the more volatile factions within the larger civil rights movement as well as helping African Americans enter the economic mainstream. Once president, Nixon’s rhetoric became a policy through the creation of the Office of Minority Business Enterprise and loans through the Small Business Administration. In 1970, a group of Black businessmen in Milwaukee took advantage of these programs to become the first Black brewery owners in Wisconsin when they purchased Peoples Brewing Company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Their effort survived only two years. This study examines the impetus of the Black capitalism movement and its failures, while serving as an example of the shift in the freedom struggle from civil rights to economic inclusion. This study also provides a rare example of Black entrepreneurs owning the means of production at a time of White corporate consolidation.
Harry, John L., "A Beer for the People: Black Capitalism and the Brewing Industry in Civil Rights Era Wisconsin" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 2788.
Available for download on Saturday, September 02, 2023