Quarantine Book Club — Marcia Chatelain

Tue, April 7, 2020 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Join us on Zoom where we can have a discussion with Marcia Chatelain from the privacy of our own quarantined space!

About this Event

Hello internet friends,

We’re trapped at home and you are also probably most likely trapped at home as well. So let’s all get together, from the comfort of our own bunkers, and talk about something else for an hour. We invite an author in to talk about their work and answer questions from you, the audience.

About the author: Marcia Chatelain is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University. The author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015) she teaches about women’s and girls’ history, as well as black capitalism. Her latest book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (Liveright Publishing Co./ W.W. Norton, January 2020) will examine the intricate relationship among African American politicians, civil rights organizations, communities, and the fast food industry. She is a current co-host of the Slate podcast, “The Waves,” which covers feminism, gender, and current events. An active public speaker and educational consultant, Chatelain has received awards and honors from the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. At Georgetown, she has won several teaching awards. In 2016, the Chronicle of Higher Education named her a Top Influencer in academia in recognition of her social media campaign #FergusonSyllabus, which implored educators to facilitate discussions about the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. She has held an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellowship at New America, a National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

About the book: From civil rights to Ferguson, Franchise reveals the untold history of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of black wealth in America.

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.


Ticket price: $5. Cheap. And the guest gets a cut. We used to do events in person that required all of us to get in a car or plane. Now the planet is better off and you can participate from wherever you are. We guarantee you’ll get more than $5 value out of it, and charging admission makes it more likely that the people who sign up plan to show up. We know these are uncertain times to say the least, so no one is turned away! Use code: ALLAREWELCOME for a free ticket if you need to.

How does it work? We use the conferencing system Zoom. After you sign up you’ll get an email with the Zoom access code. You don’t have to join with video, but it’s nice to see faces.

What if it totally sucks? You’ll get your $5 back and we’ll all have learned something.

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