Black Maverick (Hardcover)

T. R. M. Howard's Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power

By David T. Beito, Linda Royster Beito

University of Illinois Press, 9780252034206, 336pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2009

List Price: 35.00*
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In whatever role he chose--civil rights leader, wealthy entrepreneur, or unconventional surgeon--Theodore Roosevelt Mason Howard (1908-76) was always close to controversy. One of the leading renaissance men of twentieth century black history, Howard successfully organized a grassroots boycott against Jim Crow in the 1950s. Well known for his benevolence, fun-loving lifestyle, and fabulous parties attended by such celebrities as Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson, he could also be difficult to work with when he let his boundless ego get the best of him. A trained medical doctor, he kept the secrets of the white elite, and although married to one woman for forty years, he had many personal peccadilloes. But T. R. M. Howard's impressive accomplishments and abilities vastly outshone his personal flaws and foibles. He was a dynamic civil rights pioneer and promoter of self-help and business enterprise among blacks.

With this remarkable biography, David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito secure Howard's rightful place in African American history. Drawing from dozens of interviews with Howard's friends and contemporaries, as well as FBI files, court documents, and private papers, the authors present a fittingly vibrant portrait of a complicated leader, iconoclastic businessman, and tireless activist.

About the Author

David T. Beito is a professor of history at the University of Alabama. Linda Royster Beito is an associate professor and chair of social sciences at Stillman College.

Praise For Black Maverick: T. R. M. Howard's Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power

"[A] captivating and vividly detailed new biography . . . . With Black Maverick, T.R.M. Howard’s achievements have finally received the attention they deserve."--Reason

"[Howard] was in fact one of the most effective black civil rights leaders of his generation and a key figure in bringing civil rights to Mississippi and empowering black voters in Chicago.”--Harper's Online

 "An admirable biography of this flamboyant and sometimes reckless personality. . . . Recommended."--Choice

"Well researched, clearly written, and judiciously argued."--The Journal of American History