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Grant number: FB-57128-13

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FB-57128-13

Suzanne Eileen Smith
George Mason University (Fairfax, VA 22030-4444)

The Life and Times of Elder Michaux (1883-1968), African American Radio Evangelist and Entrepreneur

Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux was the most successful African American radio evangelist of the twentieth century. At the height of his fame, his "Radio Church of God" was broadcast nationally to over twenty-five million listeners. Michaux began his radio ministry on WJSV, a station owned by the Ku Klux Klan. This improbable business relationship was only one of the astonishing aspects of Michaux's career. Located in Washington, D.C., Michaux developed political clout at the White House from the Roosevelt through the Eisenhower administrations. By his death in 1968, Elder Michaux was declared the "Most Unbelievable Black Businessman in History," based on real estate development including Mayfair Mansions, the first privately-owned housing development for middle-class Americans in the United States. This project uses Michaux's extraordinary career to analyze the intersection of race, religion, entrepreneurship, politics and the mass media in twentieth-century America.

Project fields:
American Studies

Program:
Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2013 – 6/30/2014