By Rachel Kranz
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Extra info for African-American Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (A to Z of African Americans)
In 1977, he began hosting a talk show at Cleveland’s WKYC-TV, a National Broadcasting Company (NBC) affiliate, a position he held for three years. After Barden failed at an effort to run for Ohio state senate, he moved into a new industry: cable. He helped arrange a deal in which 4 percent of the cable franchises of Lorain and nearby Elyria, Ohio, would be set aside for African Americans. Then he bought 2 percent of each franchise for $2,000 apiece—and sold them two years later for $200,000. Barden went on to seek communities in the Midwest where he could run cable franchises for black viewers.
Barden invested $25,000 of his own savings in the deal—and then sold the building two years later for $50,000. For a time, Barden and a colleague tried to start a newspaper, an enterprise that failed in 1967 but that led to his more successful founding of the Lorain County Times, which he ran for five years, writing the stories, selling the ads, and delivering the paper to subscribers. He also became the first black person to be elected to the Lorain City Council, where he served two terms, from 1972 to 1975.
New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998, pp. 101–105. Bricktop (Ada Smith, Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith) (1894–1984) nightclub owner, entertainer Bricktop is best known for her Paris club, Bricktop’s, where she performed as a jazz singer; taught 29 people the latest New York City dances; and hosted the royalty, writers, and artists of Europe and the Americas. Although Bricktop’s performances were legendary, her entrepreneurial spirit found its expression in her clubs, which she opened successfully in Paris, Mexico City, and Rome.
African-American Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (A to Z of African Americans) by Rachel Kranz