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Pioneering African-American Women in the Advertising Business

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By Judy Foster Davis

Much has been written about the men and women who shaped the field of advertising, some of whom became legends in the industry. However, the contributions of African-American women to the advertising business have largely been omitted from these accounts.

Evidence reveals that some trailblazing African-American women who launched their careers during the 1960s Mad Men era went on to achieve prominent careers. This unique book chronicles the nature and significance of these women’s accomplishments, examines the opportunities and challenges they experienced, and explores how they coped with the extensive inequities common in the advertising profession.

Using a biographical narrative approach, this book examines the careers of these important African-American women who not only achieved managerial positions in major mainstream advertising agencies but also established successful agencies bearing their own names. Based on their words and memories, this study reveals experiences which are intriguing, triumphant, bittersweet, and sometimes tragic.

These women’s stories comprise a vital part of the historical narrative on women and African-Americans in advertising and will be instructive to future generations of designers and communication professionals, as well as scholars in the fields of advertising, marketing, visual communication, and graphic design.

Includes chapters on Barbara Gardner Proctor, Caroline Robinson Jones, Joel P. Martin, and Carol H. Williams as well as broader overviews: "Women and African-Americans in the Advertising Profession: An Historical Overview of the Industry and People" and "African-American Women and Structural Oppression in the Advertising Industry."

Published by Routledge, 2017

Softcover, 254 pages, b&w images, 5.25 × 8.75 inches

ISBN: 978-0-81-536992-9