Skip to main content
×
Home

To Do a Work that Would Be Very Far Reaching: Minnie Geddings Cox, the Mississippi Life Insurance Company, and the Challenges of Black Women’s Business Leadership in the Early Twentieth-Century United States

  • SHENNETTE GARRETT-SCOTT (a1)
Abstract

In early December 1923 in Memphis, Tennessee, Minnie Geddings Cox sat in a hastily arranged board meeting across from Heman Perry, clear now that the man she had believed her advocate was most assuredly her adversary. Cox and Perry, a man Forbes magazine would describe in 1924 as the richest Negro in the world, spent nearly a year maneuvering a merger to join her company, Mississippi Life Insurance Company, the third largest black-owned life insurance company in the United States, with his Standard Life of Atlanta, which ranked second. 1 They shared a vision to create the largest black-owned life insurance company in the United States—or so Cox thought.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      To Do a Work that Would Be Very Far Reaching: Minnie Geddings Cox, the Mississippi Life Insurance Company, and the Challenges of Black Women’s Business Leadership in the Early Twentieth-Century United States
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      To Do a Work that Would Be Very Far Reaching: Minnie Geddings Cox, the Mississippi Life Insurance Company, and the Challenges of Black Women’s Business Leadership in the Early Twentieth-Century United States
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      To Do a Work that Would Be Very Far Reaching: Minnie Geddings Cox, the Mississippi Life Insurance Company, and the Challenges of Black Women’s Business Leadership in the Early Twentieth-Century United States
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Andrews R. McCants. John Merrick: A Biographical Sketch. Durham, N.C.: Seeman Printery, 1920.
Ayers Edward L. The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Basye Walter. History and Operation of Fraternal Insurance. Rochester: Fraternal Monitor, 1919.
Beito David T. From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890–1967. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.
Best’s Life Insurance Report . Thirteenth Annual Edition, 1918–1919. New York: Alfred M. Best Company, Inc., 1918.
Browne William W., and Webster Davis D.. The Life and Public Services of Rev. Wm. Washington Browne: Founder of the Grand Fountain U. O. of True Reformers. Richmond: M. A. Browne-Smith, 1910.
Cobb James C. The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Fahey David M. The Black Lodge in White America: “True Reformer” Browne and His Economic Strategy. Dayton, Oh.: Wright State University Press; Lanham, Md.: University Pub. Associates, 1994.
Gamber Wendy. The Female Economy: The Millinery and Dressmaking Trades, 1860–1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.
Gill Tiffany M. Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
Gilmore Glenda. Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896–1920. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Gritter Elizabeth. River of Hope: Black Politics and the Memphis Freedom Movement, 1865–1954. Louisville: University Press of Kentucky, 2014.
Hoffman Frederick L. History of the Prudential Insurance Company of America (Industrial Insurance), 1975–1900. Newark, NJ: Prudential Press, 1900.
Hoffman Frederick L. Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro. Publications of the American Economic Association, Volume 11. New York: American Economic Association; Macmillan, 1896.
Holtzclaw Robert Fulton. Black Magnolias: A Brief History of the Afro-Mississippian, 1865–1980. Shaker Heights, OH: Keeble Press, 1984.
Johnson T. J. From the Driftwood of Bayou Pierre. Louisville: The Dune Press, 1949.
Lee George W. Beale Street: Where the Blues Began. New York: R. O. Ballou, 1934.
Litwack Leon F. Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow. New York: Vintage Books, 1998.
Marlowe Gertrude. A Right Worthy Grand Mission: Maggie Lena Walker and the Quest for Black Economic Empowerment. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 2003.
McMillen Neil R. Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989.
McWhirter Cameron. Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2011.
Merritt Carole. The Herndons: An Atlanta Family. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2002.
Powdermaker Hortense. After Freedom: A Cultural Study in the Deep South. New York: Viking Press, 1939.
Rabinowitz Howard N. The First New South, 1865–1920. Arlington Heights, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, 1992.
Report of the Eleventh Annual Convention of the National Negro Business League , Held in New York City, N.Y., August 17–19, 1910. Nashville: ame Sunday School Union, 1911.
Report of the Seventeenth Annual Convention of the National Negro Business League , Kansas City, Missouri, August 16–18, 1916. Nashville: National Baptist Publishing Board, 1916.
Report of the Thirteenth Annual Convention National Negro Business League , Held in Chicago, Ill., August 21–23, 1912. [Nashville?]: [ame Sunday School Union?], [1913?]
Rubio Philip F. There’s Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
Shaw Stephanie J. What a Woman Ought to Be and Do: African American Professional Women Workers During the Jim Crow Era. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
Spectator Company. Insurance Yearbook: Life, Casualty, and Miscellaneous, Volume 45 (1916–1917). New York: The Spectator Company, 1917.
Spectator Company. Insurance Yearbook: Life, Casualty, and Miscellaneous, Volume 49 (1921–1922). New York: Spectator Company, 1921.
Stockley Grif. Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Race Massacres of 1919. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2001.
Stuart M[erah]. S. An Economic Detour: A History of Insurance in the Lives of American Negroes. New York: Wendell Malliett, 1940.
Tucker David M. Lieutenant Lee of Beale Street. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1971.
Tuttle William M. Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919. New York: Athenaeum Press, 1970; reprint, Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2009.
Vann Andre D. and Jones Beverly Washington. Durham’s Hayti. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 1999.
Walker Juliet E. K. The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA; London: Prentice Hall International, 1998.
Weare Walter B. Black Business in the New South: A Social History of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973.
Whitaker Robert. On the Laps of Gods: The Red Summer of 1919 and the Struggle for Justice That Remade a Nation. New York: Random House, 2009.
Williamson Joel. The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South since Emancipation: Black-White Relations in the American South since Emancipation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Woodruff Nan Elizabeth. American Congo the African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.
Woodward C. Vann. The Strange Career of Jim Crow: A Commemorative Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Agesa Jacqueline, Agesa Richard, and Berry Woodrow. “A History of Racial Exploitation in Life Insurance.” Franklin Business and Law Journal 2011, No. 3 (September 2011): 121.
Butler John Sibley and Wilson Kenneth. “Entrepreneurial Enclaves in the African American Experience.” National Journal of Sociology 2 (Winter 1988): 128166.
Crossney Kristen and Bartelt David. “Residential Security, Risk, and Race: The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation and Mortgage Access in Two Cities.” Urban Geography 26, no. 8 (2005): 707736.
Crum Frederick S. “White and Colored Mortality Rates. Negroes Not So Long Lived as Caucasians, Comparative Tables Demonstrate. Not Entitled, Therefore, to Same Insurance Rates.” The Spectator (May 22, 1919): 77.
De Santis Vincent P. “The Republican Party and the Southern Negro, 1877–1897.” Journal of Negro History 45, No. 2 (April 1960): 7187.
Gatewood Willard B. “Theodore Roosevelt and the Indianola Affair.” Journal of Negro History 53, No. 1 (January 1968): 4850.
Gross Kali N. “Examining the Politics of Respectability in African American Studies.” [University of Pennsylvania] Almanac 43, No. 28 (April 1997). Accessed April 1, 2005. http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v43/n28/benchmrk.html.
McMillen Neil R. “Perry W. Howard, Boss of Black-and-Tan Republicanism in Mississippi, 1924–1960.” Journal of Southern History 48, No. 2 (May 1982): 205224.
Mowry George E. “The South and the Progressive Lily White Party of 1912.” Journal of Southern History 6, No. 2 (May 1940): 237247.
Scheiner Seth M. “President Theodore Roosevelt and the Negro, 1901–1908.” The Journal of Negro History 47, No. 3 (July 1962): 169182.
Tucker David M. “Black Pride and Negro Business in the 1920’s: George Washington Lee of Memphis.” Business History Review 43, No. 4 (Winter 1969): 435451.
Bouk Daniel. “The Science of Difference: Designing Tools for Discrimination in the American Life Insurance Industry, 1830–1930.” PhD diss., Princeton University, 2009.
Brown Elsa Barkley. “Uncle Ned’s Children: Negotiating Community and Freedom in Postemancipation Richmond, Virginia.” PhD diss., Kent State University, 1994.
Bryson Winfred Octavus Jr.. “Negro Life Insurance Companies: A Comparative Analysis of the Operating and Financial Experience of Negro Legal Reserve Life Insurance Companies.” PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1948.
Garrett-Scott Shennette. “Daughters of Ruth: Black Women in Insurance in the New South, 1890s–1930s.” PhD diss., University of Texas at Austin, 2011.
Pethel , Ellen Mary. “Athens of the South: College Life in Nashville, A New South City, 1897–1917.” PhD diss., Georgia State University, 2008.
Gates Henry Louis Jr., and Brooks Evelyn, eds. African American National Biography. In Oxford African American Studies Center. http://www.oxfordaasc.com.
Gibson John W., ed. Progress of a Race. New York: J. L. Nichols, 1905. Reprinted. New York: Arno Press, 1969.
Hamilton G. P., ed. Beacon Lights of the Race. Memphis: E. H. Clarke & Brothers, 1911.
Ingham John N., and Feldman Lynne B., eds. African-American Business Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.
Mather Frank Lincoln, ed. Who’s Who of the Colored Race: A General Biographical Dictionary of Men and Women of African Descen ., Vol. 1. Chicago, 1915.
Sewell George A., and Dwight Margaret L, eds. Mississippi Black History Makers. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1984.
Walker Juliet E. K., ed. Encyclopedia of African American Business History. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999.
Historian U.S. Postal Service. “African-American Postal Workers in the 19th Century.” Accessed April 1, 2015. http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/african-american-workers-19thc-2011.rtf.
Rowland Dunbar, ed. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, The Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi. Nashville: Brandon Printing, 1908.
State of Mississippi, Insurance Department. Biennial Report of the Insurance Department of the State of Mississippi from March 1, 1909, to March 1, 1911. Nashville: Brandon Printing Co., 1911.
State of Mississippi, Insurance Department. Biennial Report of the Insurance Department of the State of Mississippi from March 1, 1911, to March 1, 1913. Nashville: Brandon Printing Co., 1913.
State of Mississippi, Insurance Department. Biennial Report of the Insurance Department of the State of Mississippi from March 1, 1913, to March 1, 1915. Memphis: Paul and Douglass Co., [1915?].
State of Mississippi, Insurance Department. Biennial Report of the Insurance Department of the State of Mississippi from March 1, 1917, to March 1, 1919. Jackson, Miss.: Tucker Printing House, [1919?].
State of Mississippi, Insurance Department. Biennial Report of the Insurance Department of the State of Mississippi from March 1, 1919, to March 1, 1921. n.p.: s.l., [1921?].
State of Mississippi, Department of Insurance. Annual Report of the Department of Insurance of Tennessee, for the Year Ending December 31, 1921: Fire, Casualty, Life, and Fraternal, Nashville: Brandon Printing Company, 1922.
U.S. House of Representatives. Resignation of the Postmaster at Indianola, Miss., H.R. Doc. No. 422, 57th Congress, 2d Session, In United States Congressional Serial Set, Issue No. 4531, Washington: Government Publishing Office, 1903–1906.
Mississippi Beneficial Life Insurance Co v Leona Stephens , Case No. 21439, Mississippi Supreme Court, October Term 1920 (MDAH)
Mississippi Beneficial Life Insurance Company v Washington Oatis Jr., Guardian for Ressie [Reese] and Rex Oatis , pp. 6–7, Case 21622, Second District, Chancery Court, Jefferson Davis County, June Term, 1920 (MDAH)
Black Enterprise
Broad Axe
Chicago Defender
Cleveland Gazette
Crisis Magazine
Dallas Express
Forbes
Freedman
Hinds Gazette
Houston Informer
Independent
Memphis: The City Magazine
Negro Star
New York Age
Pittsburgh Courier
The Standard, a Weekly Insurance Newspaper
Topeka Plaindealer
Wyandotte Echo
Chancery Clerk Office, Sunflower County, Indianola, Mississippi
Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Mississippi (mdah)
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Enterprise & Society
  • ISSN: 1467-2227
  • EISSN: 1467-2235
  • URL: /core/journals/enterprise-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 67
Total number of PDF views: 160 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 483 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.