Black Dynasty is a story of African-American life and ambition set in the first seventy years following the Civil War. It is a family
saga about a black storekeeper in a remote company town, and how he exploits the business possibilities opened up by a
modification in kerosene-lamp design, which he appropriates from his inventive young black shop assistant, to build a multimillion dollar family business, with repercussions far into the future.
The theme of Black Dynasty is African-American life, and this novel focuses on ambition and achievements in black American
families, says Peterborough based Geoffrey Hindley, who has previously travelled widely in the US, seeing something of the
poorer neighbourhoods which helped influence the tale.
The books broad social and geographical sweep offers a mini history of post Civil War African American life, in-depth research
means that the rounded, highly believable sometimes controversial characters play out their loves, ambitions, rivalries,
triumphs and sufferings, against a credible and vivid background. Details of everyday life artefacts, street scenes, characters
and incidents from the historical record pitch the reader into the dangerous realities of 1920s South Side Chicago, the horrors
of Ku Klux Klan white justice and the sometimes dubious politicking of evangelical religion. We crowd into Motts Chicago
Pekin Theater, for the running commentary by ticker tape from Reno Nevada on black heavy-weight Jack Johnsons
championship triumph; cruise the Mississippi by river boat to the seedy nightlife violence of Natchez-under-the-Hill; tour
Harlems elegant nightclub scene with sensation seeking white socialites.
Through it all we see the ruthless commercial ambition of Willard Stone, creator of Stones Kerosene
Lamp Corporation, powerfully offset by the impassioned commitment and campaigning of Elsie
Blaze Marre, black womens rights activist, his childhood sweetheart turned remorseless critic.
Meanwhile, music-crazy son and heir Willard Jnr, disowned by his father, is blowing his jass horn all
across Prohibition club-land.
GEOFFREY HINDLEY worked in London publishing, then freelance as writer, lecturer and teacher in UK, Europe and
the US. As visiting professor, he travelled pretty widely, seeing something of poorer neighbourhoods and riding railroad
sleeping car from Chicago to New York
PUBLICATION DATE September 2012
ISBN: 9781780881959 Price: £7.99
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