Staking a Claim

Jonathan D. Greenberg, Author Scribner Book Company $19.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-689-11791-6
Starting with Simmons's farm childhood as a black member of an Oklahoma Creek Indian tribe, freelance journalist Greenberg's crisply written, sympathetic biography of the world's first internationally recognized black oilman credits much of Simmons's success to the principles of Booker T. Washington which he learned at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, a vocational college for blacks. Later, as an oil broker and entrepreneur, Simmons, who died in 1981, opened up oil trading with emerging independent African states, serving as an intermediary between white American oil executives and politicians on both continents. The author also assesses Simmons's role as a civil rights activist and paterfamilias whose clan carries on the business he founded. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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