Skip to main content

tv   Marcia Chatelain Franchise  CSPAN  January 17, 2022 9:45am-10:31am EST

9:45 am
service. >> a look now at the best best selling nonfiction books. topping university of houston professor, rene brown's atlas of the hard making human connections and followed by the book crying. >> and model emily rad cowski's thoughts on beauty. and weighing in on why people make bad decisions in the book noise. and harvard book stores nonfiction books, creator of the 1619 project, nikole hannah-jones, history of slavery in america. and you can watch their programs anytime at book >> hello and welcome to the
9:46 am
printer's row, thank you for our sponsors. before we begin, we ask that you silence your cell phones and turn off camera flashes if you're taking photos. at the end of the presentation, we will be taking questions and there is a mic here because c-span is recording, please come to the mic so it can be heard on the recording and we'll remind you of that. and let's begin. please welcome marsha chaplain. she is the author of franchise, the golden arches is black america and in conversation with elizabeth taylor. thank you ladies. [applause] >> thank you all for coming today. can you hear me? it's such a pleasure, it's a
9:47 am
beautiful day outside, but it's going to be much more interesting to be in this room as we really dig into this important part of history. so, i'm thrilled to be here. professor of history, georgetown university, the official bio, but i just want to say pulitzer prize winner 2021, history. [applause] >> okay? and i get a chill. so the citation read this way and one reason i'm going to read it out loud is that there was not a big luncheon or anything for the pulitzers this year because of covid so i don't know if you've had a strange read this to you ever. so i'm going to do it. so this amazing book franchise,
9:48 am
the golden arches in black america. the citation read this way for a nuanced account of the complicated role that the fast food industry plays in african-american communities, a portrait of race and capitalism that masterfully illustrates how the fight for civil rights has been intertwined with the fate of black businesses. so that it is. it's a smart and capacious book, way beyond what you know about ray kroc, entrepreneurial spirit and the calorie count of the happy meal and it just digs into this really important story of how this purveyor of
9:49 am
food actually shaped political culture and shaped the economy, and shaped, particularly so many cities around the country. it's really important history and it's just a lens that i don't think people have thought about quite the way you have. so i'm really thrilled to be here. so mcdonald's is sort of embedded into the american sub conscious, right? i'm sure a stone's throw from here, there's one. but it's a paradox because it simultaneously, a history of opportunity, but it's also an opportunity for exploitation. but it's a national story, but it's also a chicago story. and so let's begin in chicago
9:50 am
and marsha, your first book was southside girls growing up and the great migration. here we are in chicago where you grew up. so, what was your first mcdonald's experience? >> well, i just want to say thank you to everyone for joining us and thank you so much for this invitation to talk about my book. i got up early this morning and took a walk around downtown, and it was so emotional, having grown up here and having so many after school jobs in this neighborhood. i could count the number of places where i got a paycheck around the city and i want to return to that because mcdonald's for me with a wa was at the center, i think, of my budding social life as a young adult. so we ate mcdonald's a lot as kids because in the '80s, that's what you did. there was no kind of, i guess like social shaming about
9:51 am
letting your kid eat mcdonald's so that's what we did all the time, but as i got older, mcdonald's became the site of our social lives. there were a number of people i went to high school with and people who have the same age and that was our social media. we didn't have cell phones, but we could all meet at an mcdonald's. so in many ways, i really saw it as an ever-present part of my social woorld and also the mris place i could articulate my independence. growing up in chicago with mcdonald's. chicago had two distinct places, and the billkin parade and activities happening when the dusable and wgn, know your
9:52 am
heritage and all of these were underwritten by mcdonald's operators. in addition growing up in the '80s and '90s, a lot of first corporate job opportunities for students of color, mcdonald's was up there with abbott labs and xerox and corporations providing entry point for a lot of black college students. so in many ways, i think being in chicago, mcdonald's means a little bit of a different thing than in other cities. >> so we know that mcdonald's was launched by ray kroc and then the franchise started and there really is a story of the franchise industry. and sort of capitalism. so how did that work for mcdonald's? >> yeah, so mcdonald's grows out of southern california and one of the things i talk about in the book is that when we
9:53 am
think about how people often talk and write about mcdonald's, they frame it as this incredible story of innovation, it is. getting so many people food quickly is a big deal for the food industry in the 1940's and 50's. to are my purpose i like this think about it, what does it say about america' racial history and businesses that grow up around the highway system, which is the sorts of so much terror and anxiety for black travelers nlt and what do you think of the suburbanization of fast food and had means of excluding african-americans. we're getting to the moment when franchising is a growth for business. it's really exciting because it's a moment in which you don't have to have a lot of business experience or have had owned a family business to make it big and this is like so american, right? you can own something, but you don't own it, i own my house,
9:54 am
but i don't even it, bank of america owns my house. you can be successful without a formal education which i think is one of the promises of american industry and people just, you know, were in love with the chide of franchising because someone has done the hard work, but i mean, the asterisk, you have to assume the risk and liability and to a tremendous amount of work to make it work. >> speaking about chicago. great story. can you talk about the first black franchise owner? >> sure. >> because mcdonald's was founded in '46 or-- >> the original mcdonald's in san bernardino was in the '40s, it moved to chicago in the 50's with ray kroc. he's ambitious, we can have an
9:55 am
mcdonald's in every bedroom communities. but african-americans don't get a franchise until 1968 immediately after king's assassination. i think he think for us, having grown up in a world in which martin luther king, jr. is a hero. it's easy to know that king in his moment was not the good guy in history. after his assassination-- >> it's worked the past decades that martin luther king is a hero, but in 1968 after the uprisings in reaction to his death and after this consternation about the direction. civil rights movement there was and incredible encouragement of black-owned businesses under black-owned capitalism. so the first to franchise the mcdonald's is kind of in that moment where there's federal pressure to open up business
9:56 am
opportunities for african-american and mcdonald's gets involved in it knowing there will be a number of white franchise owners who do know the want to do business in black communities anymore. they're chilled by the things after king's assassination and mcdonald's starts with black franchise owners in the black community and what they discover is it's very profitable for a number of reasons. >> very profitable for some though, right? >> well, interesting. it's a very good point you make and goes back to franchising. what they soon discover, it's called black stores at the time. na black stores yield very good profits because they're often located in communities where there's not a lot of competing which ises and market research shows that they're going there
9:57 am
more than the counterpart, but the franchise owner doesn't necessarily see all the profits. very early on, mcdonald's ent convenience to try to create a baseline program so black franchise owners can keep their stores. >> some lose their stores in the early years. by '75, '76 there's a sense that it can work. if you put black franchise owners in the black communities, that you not only change inner city business, but you have a loyal customer base because people feel like they're patronizing a black-owned business and this is important for the politics at the time. >> and then it's a sort of trade-off. oh, do we want mcdonald's or a community center. can you explain how that was interwoven together? >> so one of the things that happened, as mcdonald's is
9:58 am
becoming more present in cities like chicago, cleveland, los angeles, philadelphia, portland, oregon, is that community groups are trying to decide if they like mcdonald's or not. and i think that this was something i really wanted to talk about in the book. a world in which mcdonald's wasn't a precipitation. >> and has everyone been in mcdonald's, only twice this happened. two people in events i've had around the book said they never had mcdonald's. they were both raised by vegan nutritionists. don't know what it is. but this is a period of time where this is not a fix tour in every community. so as mcdonald's a joying in terms of its presence. community groups are starting to question whether or not they'll contribute to the
9:59 am
health and wellness around it. and there are all of these protests, if mack dondz is going to be here, it has to be a black franchise. and if they do, they have to participate in the breakfast by the black panthers, and this is before responsibility had a play book. mcdonald's is deciding. they're mind blowing in 2021 where there's an office of people telling you many-- in the 1980's, everything is still on the table and that's a part of the history i find most fascinating. how do we set the standards and template for how corporations interact with communities? >> so interesting.
10:00 am
so how do you think in the book that you-- you argue in a way, the government really-- the expansion of mcdonald's by highways where drivers can find them easily. ... been complicit in this expansion of mcdonald's? >> one of the things we see during this time period, it felt very strange to hear some of the rhetoric from 68 being recycled. one of the reasons why there's so much unrest in the 1960s, it's not because people want more businesses necessarily. they want the fundamental things that youou need for a good, quality of life. they are equal housing, good
10:01 am
schools for your children, access to healthcare, jobs that that pay more than starvation wages. the issues are very clear. it seems that the federal government says we are not going to deliver on the promises of civil rights and the war on poverty but if people have their own businesses maybe it will be appeased by this. this is my most cynical grumpy self but there's something about that that a find so appalling by to understand why it's so seductive in 1968. there has been a large-scale failure of the federal government to live up to any of the promises of the legislative and the civic reforms that have happened relative to black rights. people are saying okay we are not going to be protected in these ways. maybe we have business. maybe we become self-sustaining. but small businesses particularly but very few businesses have the power to undo civil rights abuses, , rig?
10:02 am
no company can innovate respecting someone's right to vote or ending police brutality. we know that during this time people are thinking that maybe it's true, but in 2020 with no excuse for thinking that the appropriate response to the george floyd summer is to buy some black businesses. none of it makes sense that this is what we are constantly presented as the potential solution to the problem. >> and if the solution that continues to this day. i mean, it's static. in a way what what you areg about it so perfectly expressed on the cover of your book. i don't know whether people can quite see, because it's in i paperback, but can you talk about the cover of the book? it captures a moment that is a really important moment. >> thank you. you asked. i love this picture so much. a picture of a gentleman who is giving the oath of voting to a
10:03 am
woman in the parking lot at the mcdonald's, and this picture is actually from the neighborhood in portland. one of the things id appreciated in the research process was that i was able to write about black history in the pacific northwest, but she's getting her right to vote at a mcdonald's and hence the title "franchise." you see what my editor did there. she came up with a title. what does it mean for mcdonald's to be the space in which black rights are being pursued and realized? this is like so depressing, isn't? but it's a cautionary tale tos all of us to think that this is kind of where this needs to happen. i think what i'm most concerned with is saying that we actually do have the tools to address racial injustice, but if we keep on suggesting market-based
10:04 am
solutions or market activity is going to do this, that we're going to continue to see the cycles of history. oing to do this, that we are going to continue to see the cycles of history. >> own to quickly ask about advertising. advertising for mcdonald's was so expansive one of the biggest campaigns ever, you talk about the company? >> communications based in chicago is so important for this moment. what's happening in terms of the marketplace is that 1968 is the culmination in many ways of many years of a racial unrest. think the death of king at the level tour the country is and other political issues. and so corporations are
10:05 am
feeling indicted and thinking how are we going to reach out? how are we going to be more inclusive? what they do is they start investing in black advertising agencies and black creative marketing and black market research companies. corelle corporation takes mcdonald's on and creates a series of ads that are supposed to speak to the black consumer. there's an anecdote about they tried to sell african-american consumers that you deserve a break today because it doesn't work what break in 1968 america look around. all of this is to say this is something i came to really appreciate during the research of this book. there are not a lot of african-americans on television during this time. it is a very big deal. even when i was a kid growing up in the 80s it was a really big deal to see these commercials.
10:06 am
two seat not only actors and actresses and singers, to see black creative talents have a place to start. because producing commercials, being the backup singers, being a dancer in a commercial , this was the platform before the internet. if you spend as much time on youtube's idea, watching old mcdonald's commercials there are some really big stars to get started in these commercials. and so i wanted to make sure this book, although this a lot of policy history and a lot of civil rights history acknowledges that creative works that was able to shift some of the representation into the 80s and 90s. >> had had such power. can you talk a little bit about archival work? finding that photo for instance. this is not a corporate history of mcdonald's.
10:07 am
they did not open up their archives. >> no they didn't, they did not. i think that's a blessing for us be creative and go around. and find really interesting stuff. talk about that process, what are your great fines question recorded you go? >> i went everywhere. i can't believe i did this, i really can't. when i think about the amount of times i got on airplanes in my recent events, got on an airplane stayed for days at a library to get three pieces of paper and the excitement. this is the life of a historian. i tell my students when you're on twitter under something that's gone viral and there's a joke you spent maybe 40 minutes trying to find its origin to fill really proud of yourself, that is my job that's my whole professional life. [laughter] so mcdonald's has its own archives is not (and it's a corporation. how do i tell a story about
10:08 am
mcdonald's? this is really about shifting the lens. floyd speak about black america succeed mcdonald's is everywhere. my look at the papers of people like julian bond, mcdonald's is everywhere. when look at the archives of the southern christian leadership conference of the naacp mcdonald's is everywhere, right? so i think we often think about certain relationships of power. people would say was there an archive of all of the black franchise owners of the early class? i said no. but if i think critically of the places they donated money to bring the community groups and interacted with them, i could've written 1010 books about mcdonald's and black america. i think it's a cautionary tale about who we think are important makers of history. this is why i'm so excited about the possibility of a graduate student read this book thinking this is the worst book i ever read. i'm going to go back to the
10:09 am
same archives and i'm going to write a better version of this. these things are possible but it is political. there have to be programs we study african-american history. there have to be faculty led by hsu to do that. this is not magic it's about changing who and what we think about in the places that train scholars to do that kind of work. >> it's always interesting how you are a journalist for a while, and that is how i met you, summer intern. >> at your phd was it american civilization which i actually think is a more expansive way to look at history.
10:10 am
makes me think that's one of the part about archives. >> being an inter- tradition every piece makes you think about the different places where knowledge can be produced. it isn't just the papers that are put in a newspaper archive or a collection in a historical society. something see on youtuber on television. it's the conversations of people have that you have access too. one of the things i want to say being back home and really being reflective about this trajectory, a lot that's possible inside the book and in my career was because i grew up in a moment of which there were opportunity programs. this period of time i am a generation from 68. but i benefited from the
10:11 am
minority scholarship programs this idea that maybe we should try to change things a little bit. i think the biggest difference between me and my students as they are actually living in a world with fewer of those routes to opportunity. this is what i find most irritating about the cycles of history. that in some ways i can chart the programs somewhere federally funded while more public private partnerships. i can chart the programs that got me too this point. when i think about the number of resources my students might have with technology, those same programs and same possibilities are not there. i think this is something that be so careful about and suggesting there's ever a moment where the work is done or always said with unfinished business and the question is how do we return to a place where we want to expand opportunity so aggressively.
10:12 am
>> when certain ways you grapple with this, because in many ways your book is quite an indictment of capitalism. capitalism just cannot be that socially responsible. i think that's how i read your book. >> he read it correctly. [laughter] but he wanted to do it in a way that was sensitive and cannot be so arrogant to suggest i am so much smarter than the entire mechanism of capitalism that makes me want things. or makes me excited with the new iphone comes out. i don't think that's the entire point. it is to say if we are going to be serious about the inequalities that are born out of the racism then we cannot constrain choices to the point where a new mcdonald's becomes the new presence and the lives of people and then have an
10:13 am
expectation that people will be well fed, healthy, have time for their families, have living wages and access to healthcare. these things are not compatible. but i think when it comes to securing black rights, this is the place we turn too. this idea that the marketplace can put something together to quell the real deep inequalities people are constantly reacting to and having to make choices from. >> it seems that people are eager to condemn the that eat foods of mcdonald's and all the bad food. and the dangers. but less eager to contend with the social implications of the business itself. >> absolutely. it is so easy to food choices
10:14 am
for this is along practice especially throughout the 20th century we have ideas of diets, good food and bad food. i want people to live healthy lives. but i never want us to suggest what a person is consuming is more important than the conditions that create the set of choices. i think for health practitioners for public policy people there is a default position that african-american choices should be the first place to go. as if all of those choices are equally constructed among all people. >> right. one of the blocks to a new system emerging, franchises that would do vegan food.
10:15 am
>> is a vegan festival going on right now. people have always embraced different food movements. that's neither here nor there. i just do not want the impossible burger to determine whether the committee has healthcare. mcdonald's commits all the burgers they want, they can be fine. but i want them to operate in a civil and social context where their workers don't make poverty wages. >> let's talk about the franchise about the owner. let's talk about the disenfranchised people who work there. which are in your book. >> when i looked at your footnotes that those really great archival fines. >> there is this a moment where people are thinking
10:16 am
okay, fast food jobs are first jobs. there an entry point into the marketplace. and then people will have the other tools necessary for social mobility. but we will put no money into those tools but will not create any regulatory structure on the quality of those jobs. and when the nation is in financial crisis there will not be an extension of benefits in these jobs and people are wondering why can't you advance them from the jobs? when mcdonald's really start to get to black communities things that are interesting. one is a lot of the black franchise owners are praised for working at mcdonald's the early mcdonald's brothers fired all the young women who work at their restaurants because they said they flirted because sexism is evergreen. then slowly but surely you have young black women working at mcdonald's.
10:17 am
some being able to become managers in seeing this as a great opportunity. mcdonald's sells itself to black consumers by suggesting the person working the counter would one day become a franchise owner. this a dream that if you just stay in long enough to know how much capitol you need to have to franchise a mcdonald's? mark zuckerberg in an article a few days ago so you can either have a mcdonald's franchise or i can send you to harvard. and it wasn't that a great story? [laughter] just to wrap our heads around it but that myths of the possibility in the franchise system is still so powerful. all of this is to say the economy shifted rapidly so these jobs were not possible in terms of creating stable working families. the fight for 15 has effectively raise that consciousness among a lot of
10:18 am
people. but still the $15 an hour wage is not enough. i used to work in oklahoma city attacked and the university of oklahoma. i remember when companies would come in, people would say these are great jobs we talked up a lot because oklahoma city is not expensive. as if this is the kind of barometer for economic growth. this is how the fast food practices really mushroomed. low wages, inconsistent scheduling, sexual harassment, no paid sick leave, workers are expendable. this is the moment we are contending with it. >> we are running short on time. for any questions please get them, please come up to the microphone if you have a question. i have one last question retaining my right for the last question. hi.
10:19 am
>> actually i was going over in my mind what question to ask what. >> hi daniel how are you? i thought that was you. >> i'm glad you got to the last point i was going to come to that i feel wages and i grew up in the south mcdonald's was my first job, my brother's first job, my nephew's first job. when they moved to los angeles i'm supporting a family with a job from mcdonald's. the fight for 15 would've been a great thing to have done in 2011. that now is like an incredible insult almost all around the country. i wonder if you have seen any connection between that sort of mutation of what mcdonald's was in the civil rights movement? on the powell memo and basic strategy of corporate america to push out everything that happened with the civil rights
10:20 am
movement. which was in concert by the u.s. government. i don't want to say synergy, or to complement right there. >> one and things i found talk about archives that really blew my mind was when i was looking at mcdonald's in the 60s, i found a number of instances in which groups like the student on violence and naacp were involved in protests against segregation at mcdonald's. why is that not within the frame of our history of segregation? woolworth, rexall, would see all this iconic images and they are very much codified which these were where it happened. the pine bluff, arkansas movement of 62 -- 63, people
10:21 am
are beaten by the police trying to do a protest of a segregated mcdonald's. mcdonald's was part of the north carolina citizens and durham and memphis. all of these places people are acting against a mcdonald's. it is not within the frame. sometimes i wonder, because they'd grafted themselves onto the narrative of after king's death we did the socially responsible thing by recruiting black franchise owners they work themselves out of that history and kept on doing these things. they were very early supporter of the martin luther king jr. holiday. i think that rights them out of that. while there's a lot of criticism of mcdonald's practices through labor practices, today there's a lot of stuff about the environment in the 80s and 90s, i find that so strange.
10:22 am
[inaudible] >> any other questions i know i mentioned a lot of these creature comforts, universal healthcare necessary for society kind of like you said the indictment. why don't we see a lot of small business owners really pushing for things like healthcare those issues. one of your see some is franchise owners as someone who has a business and whatnot the hardest thing to try to purchase to understand and work with. i never understood why there's no idea of what the big push in terms of that.
10:23 am
that is such an excellent point to issues that come up there very much beholden to the corporate structure with the nation's board if you work for mcdonald's who work for mcdonald's corporate rework for the franchise owner. the back-and-forth on the forth on the issue about challenges of sexual harassment, wage theft and taking care of workers. i think the narrative is small business america has been that regulation will kill your business. they are employees are people to be distrustful of and invested in all at the same time. and so we could create an incredible movement if we really are the fuel of
10:24 am
america. every politician left and right can make this claim. these are the things we can demand from the public in order to have small businesses. this is why always a danger, danger, talk about black owned business they don't employ anyone. he'll never have rebuild or harlem if they have the floor, perhaps this if you really want black economic empowerment this requires universal healthcare, freed college free childcare. can employ one or two people that can maybe expand. once we suggest that public good undermines business, we lose that possibility. >> i know we have to go i have one quick question.
10:25 am
people should rush out and buy this book. if we could just only give you a taste of it. you have a five month old baby at home. so you think you'll be able to go to mcdonald's for what are you going want to do there? >> is a thing this is what i have learned in my many months of parenting. i cannot determine what my child eats after a certain point i want him to be an autonomous person in the world. this is what i do know. at the very least i will try my hardest to raise a very sensitive child who imagines his choices make a difference. whether it's what he eats or how he treats others. there will be a lot of real talk about mcdonald's. there'll also be real talk about every choice we have is complicated. and regardless of the choices
10:26 am
he makes he still my baby boy. i adopted a cheer i won the pulitzer prize in that order. and and i just want to say ths is not about me necessarily, but that a black woman in her 40s 4s could be recognized with the pulitzer prize. this is the point, and someone who was on every scholarship imaginable and every kind of program was able to do this i feel like it really meaningful and it doesn't necessarily mean that the work isng over. >> so inspiring and kudos to you. >> thank you. >> you've done so much good work. congratulations. [applause] >> during our weekly author interview program "after words" princeton university professor eddie glaude spoke with robin d'angelo about her new book, nice racism.
10:27 am
>> unfortunately i haven't seen that the energy that we saw last summer is being sustained. running down to the protest on some level is exciting and exhilarating but the daily work of putting racism on the table, looking at your policies and practices in the workplace, challenging one another, that's the really hard stuff. in case i don't say it earlier, or later, it takes courage. it takes commitment but also takes courage. and niceness is not courageous. so my point around that is that, that so many people -- white people see it as an indicator of absence of racism. a culture of niceness is one that prevents us having difficult conversations about racism. >> to watch the rest of this program visit click on the "after words" tab to find this on all previous
10:28 am
episodes. >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents america's stories, and on sundays booktv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies, and more, including wow. >> the world has changed. today fast level internet connection something no one can live without the wow is therefore our customers with speed, reliability, value and choice. now more than ever it all starts with great internet. >> wow, along with these television companies, supports c-span2 as a public service. >> here's a look at some publishing industry news. former trump campaign chairman hall manafort is writing a book that contest the 2019 financial fraud charges filed against him by the federal government.
10:29 am
the book political prisoner will be published by sky horse this summer. he was sentenced to more than seven years in prison but was pardoned by president trump in 2020. also in the news the fbi arrested a 29-year-old man accused of operating a phishing scam that secured unpublished manuscripts by best-selling and first-time authors. he was employed by simon & schuster uk allegedly impersonating publishing executives and used fraudulent email addresses to obtain the documents. the case has puzzled the publishing world because none of the stolen manuscripts have serviced. in other news, a recent gallup poll found 27% of americans read more than ten books last year and 8% 8% drop from 2016. the senate chamber is on par with surveys from prior years.
10:30 am
according to npd bookscan, , prt book sales were up close to 90% in 2021 over 21 over the previous year with 825 million books sold your adult nonfiction sales rose 4%, this was the second consecutive year of sales growth following an 8% jump in 2020. booktv will continue to bring you new programs and publishing news, and you can also watch all of our past programs anytime at >> hi, everyone. i'm david remnick, editor of the new yorker. thank you for coming tofo todays talk on a book called "the matter of black lives." it's a new anthology that collects almost a century of reporting, profiles, memoir and criticism from the magazine. i'd like to introduce my coeditor, my colleague and friend, jelani cobb. jelani has been a staff writer at the new yorker since 2015. he writes frequently on race, politics,


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on