Lovin’ It?

It’s complicated.

A phrase that we associate with romantic relationships as we close out this month of Valentine’s Day.

But McDonald’s and the African-American community? Oh yeah. 

When Marcia Chatelain published her book, Franchise at the end of 2019, she couldn’t have imagined what 2020 would bring. But for those of us struggling to understand all the complexities of systemic racism, she employed a clever device to convey its many mechanisms.

There are few among us who haven’t tasted, or craved, something from McDonald’s. It’s a fairly universal American icon. Yet in tracing the inception, growth, urban retrenchment, and eventual Black franchise-ownership, she is able to walk us through a journey that few of us know enough about.

There are many aha moments. These insights detail examples from why returning Black GIs weren’t allowed to take full advantage of all that the GI Bill had to offer, to why Black franchise-owners continually had higher per store sales, yet saw those margins erode because of the unfavorable terms McDonald’s “offered” them.  

This book transforms systemic racism from a vague but overwhelming concept to a process outlined with concrete steps for permanence.  It becomes very easy for those of us who understand what the post-WWII boom did for the majority of Americans, to now understand how so much of that economic prosperity was not afforded to a whole group of Americans. 

“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!” 

So that special sauce of success? 

Franchise helps you understand a series of decisions that kept the special sauce from all of America.

CHRC

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