In the Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street

In the Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street

In the Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street

In the Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street


The never-before-told story of five decades of African Americans on Wall Street Here, for the first time, is the fascinating history of the African American experience on Wall Street as told by Gregory Bell, the son of the man who founded the first black-owned member firm of the New York Stock Exchange. A successful finance professional in his own right with close ties to leading figures in both the black financial and civil rights communities, Bell tells the stories of the pioneers who broke down the ancient social and political barriers to African American participation in the nations financial industry. With the help of profiles of many important black leaders of the past fifty years'including everyone from Jesse Jackson and Maynard Jackson, former mayor of Atlanta, to E. Stanley ONeal, COO and President of Merrill Lynch, and Russell Goings, founder of First Harlem Securities and cofounder of First Harlem Securities'he shows how in the years following World War II the growing social, political, and financial powers of African Americans converged on Wall Street. Set to publish during Black History Month, In the Black will be warmly received by African American business readers and general readers alike.


Although my name is the only one to grace the cover of this book, I am in no way the only person who deserves credit for its completion. As every author knows, the publication process can be complicated and all books are the result of many people’s labor.

I must first thank my parents. My late father’s imagination, determination, and ambition will always serve as an inspiration to me as I try to fulfill my promise.

My mother’s unselfish support will always be the foundation for me as I pursue my goals.

I would like to thank a few people who took time out of their schedules to speak with me when I was just a college student interested in the subject. I will never forget when investment banker Wayne A. Seaton took me to lunch at the Harvard Club in 1999. It was an extraordinary educational experience, and there is no doubt that Wayne will be in the next chapter of this history. Another person who stands out is Tony Chapelle, publisher of Securities Pro newsletter who talked with me that same year and shared his thoughts on countless subjects.

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the investment bankers, asset managers, stockbrokers, politicians, and other people who agreed to answer my questions and be interviewed for this book. To accomplish this, I took calls from people at 7:00 A.M. and conversed with others after midnight. I talked with some while riding in their cars, to others as far . . .

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