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2010 - 95th Annual Convention Words: 305 words || 
1. Stephens, Ronald. "Phil Giles Enterprises: Promoting and Sustaining Tourism and Economic Development in The Resort Capital of America" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2020-02-18 <>
Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper presentation explores the commercial and political contributions of Phil Giles to the halcyon days of Idlewild, days of a black leisure practice that was both “nationalistic” fighting for self-determination within all aspects of African American life and “consumerist,” rethinking black identity largely through a middle-class style of living. Yet as the fortunes of Idlewild seemed to reach an apex, Giles’s devotion to his own vision would seem to wane, and Idlewild’s social life would suffer at the very moment the movement for racial equality gained national momentum. This presentation thus raises a paradox at the heart of Idlewild: how the social and cultural struggle that gave it birth also challenged its viability as a model for lasting social revolution. And by exploring some of the internal contradictions as well as Idlewild’s complex relations to the dominant national culture, this paper further seeks to determine the extent to which the Flamingo Club was the Alpha and Omega of entertainment and recreation., and how Giles helped to create economic opportunities and to raise racial awareness not only among African American entrepreneurs and vacationers but also among White politicians and business leaders in Michigan, a pattern of thought that has since led to contemporary discussions about stimulating Idlewild’s economy and celebrating its history as a national treasure that deserves to be preserved. Giles was first to develop a night spot that featured local, regional, and national personalities in show business. Under his leadership, Idlewild attracted some of the best of African American entertainers from around the state and nation as they created a sense of community that African Americans could claim as America’s Distinctive National Resort. Giles as creative genius, entrepreneur, manager and producer also tailored the scene to attract white audiences who resided in surrounding townships and counties in Western Michigan.

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