Friday, January 31, 2020

Marcia Chatelain

Marcia Chatelain is a Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University. The author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (2015) she teaches about women's and girls' history, as well as black capitalism. Her latest book is Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America.

From the transcript of Chatelain's interview with NPR's Michel Martin:

MARTIN: How is the current political environment affecting the black franchise owners at McDonald's? Because as we know, there is a lot of interest in the health effects - the negative health effects of eating fast food. And there's been a lot of reporting on this, even in the black community and black-oriented media outlets.

You know, on the other hand, there is still a lot of interest in black capitalism. I mean, you see some other, you know, prominent figures like let's say Jay-Z and Beyonce, you know, the interest in them is equally their business practices as well as their artistic output, right? So how is this current focus affecting black franchise owners, do you know?

CHATELAIN: I think it's really complicated because they're living in an age where there's more competition just in terms of food to eat. I think the category of fast casual has complicated this because often that food is marketed as healthier even if it's not. So that the space is larger. Some of them are contending with the consequences of gentrification in the neighborhoods that they first started in. And so in addition to those issues, we are in another cycle in which black franchise owners are having a lot of problems with McDonald's and feeling that they're being advocated for. So that cycle of tension continues.

But I think that part of the critique of the quality of the food has led the black franchise community to...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue