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The Black Russian

By Vladimir E. Alexandrov

The Black Russian is the incredible true story of Frederick Bruce Thomas, born in 1872 to former slaves who became prosperous farmers in Mississippi. After his father was brutally murdered, Frederick left the South and worked as a waiter in Chicago and Brooklyn. Seeking greater freedom, he traveled to London, then crisscrossed Europe, and—in a highly unusual choice for a black American at the time—went to Russia.

Because he found no color line there, Frederick settled in Moscow, becoming a rich and famous owner of variety theaters and restaurants. When the Bolshevik Revolution ruined him, he barely escaped to Constantinople, where he made another fortune by opening celebrated nightclubs as the "Sultan of Jazz." 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.

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Southeast
  • 920.00929 Ale, Nonfiction

ISBN

9780802120694


Format: Book
Author: Alexandrov, Vladimir E.
Summary: 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.
Title: The black Russian / Vladimir Alexandrov.
Publisher Date: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2013.
Subject: African Americans -- Biography Americans -- Russia -- Biography.
Isbn: 9780802120694 0802120695
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 920.00929 Ale
Oclc: 805048092
Upc:
Bib Id: 422384

Format: Book
Author: Alexandrov, Vladimir E.
Summary: 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.
Title: The black Russian / Vladimir Alexandrov.
Edition: 1st ed.
Publisher, Date: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2013.
Description: xxiv, 306 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Subjects: African Americans -- Biography
Subjects: Americans -- Russia -- Biography.
Notes: Maps on end papers.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN: 9780802120694
ISBN: 0802120695
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 920.00929 Ale