The Black Russian

The Black Russian

Book - 2013
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The Black Russian is the incredible story of Frederick Bruce Thomas, born in 1872 to former slaves who became prosperous farmers in Mississippi. A rich white planter's attempt to steal their land forced them to flee to Memphis, where Frederick's father was brutally murdered. After leaving the South and working as a waiter and valet in Chicago and Brooklyn, Frederick sought greater freedom in London, then crisscrossed Europe, and-- in a highly unusual choice for a Black American at the time-- went to Russia in 1899. Because he found no color line there, Frederick made Moscow his home. He renamed himself Fyodor Fyodorovich Tomas, married twice, acquired a mistress, and took Russian citizenship. Through his hard work, charm, and guile he became one of the city's richest and most famous owners of variety theaters and restaurants. The Bolshevik Revolution ruined him, and he barely escaped with his life and family to Constantinople in 1919. Starting from scratch, he made a second fortune by opening celebrated nightclubs that introduced jazz to Turkey. However, the long arm of American racism, the xenophobia of the new Turkish Republic, and Frederick's own extravagance landed him in debtor's prison. He died in Constantinople in 1928.
Publisher: New York, NY : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780802120694
Branch Call Number: Biography B Tho


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morrisonist Aug 11, 2015

If you could stay in Wonderland,
Would you kill your friends?
Outside of Wonderland terrifies you,
This we know,
But inside of Wonderland is just as bad.
Seeking false comfort is worse.
But you, who seeks it constantly,
Can only think of the rewards.
Not of the consequences.
As you throw your tantrum,
We can only laugh,
For your delayed reaction soothes us,
Amuses us.
And when you tire,
Wearing a beautiful red attire,
We put you to bed,
Saying that you can decide in the early morning,
When the silence has not been broken.
You cry out in what seems to be the opposite of delight,
And we tell you to hush.
To rest,
For Wonderland is still there,
Still throwing you the most horrifying troubles,
Still giving us eternal laughter.

Sep 18, 2014

Beautifully done my nephew went on a trip there with the British School and to think a Black man from Missisppi running Maxims and ending with Chantal Thomas the parisian lingerie designer wow but so sad about his daughter I'd reccomend this for every black history class it's right up there with Hugh Massaquois "Witness to Destiny" about his childhood in Nazi Germany.

ChristchurchLib Sep 17, 2013

"Chronicles the life of the notable African-American who began life as a Mississippi farm boy but moved to Russia in 1899 and became one of Moscow's richest and most famous owners of restaurants and variety theatres." September 2013 Biography and Memoir

4Bibliomania Jun 09, 2013

An excellent book showing the struggle of an extraordinary individual struggling and generally succeedIng against racism, nationalism, xenophobic, and ideological fanaticism. Alexandrov has a rare talent for nuance and arraying complexity accessibly; he shows compassion and wisdom in his portrayal. When will we see the film?


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