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2010 - 95th Annual Convention Words: 209 words || 
1. Young, Darius. "Growing Up Church: The Construction of a Southern Black Elite Family" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2019-01-22 <>
Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: Robert Church Sr. was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi. His father, Charles Beckwith Church, owned a shipping company where Robert worked as a steward during the early years of his career. Despite his humble beginnings, Robert would eventually own hundreds of properties in Memphis, Tennessee including an auditorium, bank, and several hotels. Robert was recognized as the first black millionaire in Memphis. While his personal accomplishments deserve scholarly attention, this paper will also focus on how the Churches constructed their identity as southern black elite family.

This paper discusses how the Churches and other southern black elite families grappled with their slave ancestry. It also highlights the child rearing techniques used by Robert Sr and his wife, Anna to ensure the success of their children as they matured into young adults. More specifically this paper will emphasize the upbringing of Robert Church Jr. Although Mary Church Terrell is the most famous of the Church siblings, Robert Jr. succeeded his father in his real estate business and would later be recognized as the premier black political leader of his generation. This paper discusses the strategies used to construct and maintain the black elite and also addresses the importance of being race leaders.

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