Budwey is not first man to give away his business
In a May 1 News article about Frank Budwey, who gave the market he owned to his employees, a retail expert suggested that his generosity was “unprecedented in North American retail history.” It was not.
My great-grandfather, Thaddeus Lincoln Tate, a black businessman, owned and operated a barbershop in Charlotte, N.C., from the 1890s to the 1940s. When he retired, he simply gave the barbershop to the two men who had worked with him for decades.
Tate was an important actor in the black community in that city. He helped found Grace AME Zion Church, Charlotte’s black YMCA, the Mecklenburg Investment Co. and the Brevard branch of the Charlotte public library, the first public library branch for black people in the South. Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, which is now in the process of erecting a sculpture of Tate along its Trail of History.