Summer Reading - Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills

Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires

America’s first black millionaires are fascinating examples of business and personal triumph, yet their stories have largely gone untold—until now. Black Fortunes showcases six individuals born into slavery who went on to become titans of American industry. As told here in unforgettable detail, their journeys toward financial success are a long overdue addition to the historical record, as well as a timeless reminder of the power of ingenuity, grit, and entrepreneurship.


“The stories of the first black millionaires in America are the beginning of an epic that is still unfolding—the journey from enslavement to economic and social equality. Their unlikely lives provided a spark for a people just beginning to lift themselves out of bondage and still serve as inspiration for minorities and women as they strive for greater financial empowerment today.”

By Shomari Wills, a journalist and author who has worked for CNN and Good Morning America, and has contributed to The New York Carib News and Columbia Journalism Review. He received a B.A. in English from Morehouse College and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University, where he was named a Lynton Book Writing Fellow. He lives in Brooklyn, New York