DIG LIFE DEEP!
By The Planet Club
DIG LIFE DEEP!Aug 12, 2022
DR. WINSTON ALLEN: Founder of America's first black-owned brokerage, author, inventor, professor & mentor, led Xerox's global training program. He faced barriers. But his love of America endures.
Winston E. Allen, author of “DON’T GET MAD, GET RICH” and “LIVE A PURPOSEFUL AND MEANINGFUL LIFE”, newly published autobiography “I PRIED OPEN WALL STREET IN 1962“, is so much more than the title reveals. Dr. Allen’s book is fascinating, riveting, historical and grossly entertaining, and has been getting much acclaim from critics and the general reading public alike.
The story of Dr. Allen’s true-life experiences that propelled Dr. Allen to ultimately form the first minority owned, independent, broker-dealer firm in the history of the United States. The title captures just a fraction of the extraordinary life of the author.
There are so many stirring experiences told that the reader was compelled to not put this book down. Dr. Allen’s first gripping experience was as a 13-year-old boy, traveling, by train, from New York City to Miami, Florida in a sealed, locked compartment, in 1946 and how this experience shaped his life. Before leaving Penn Station in New York, Dr. Allen learned later in life that his parents provided gratuities to the black porter staff to ensure that their child would arrive safely in Miami. Being locked in this compartment for three days, Dr. Allen would only see the porters when they brought his meals to his compartment.
Before arriving at Union Station in Washington DC, the porters entered his compartment and pulled the curtains shut to make sure no one would see Dr. Allen. Peeking through the curtains, Dr. Allen saw, for the first time, bathroom signs that read “WHITES ONLY” and “COLORED” in bold capital letters.
Thinking, since this is the capital, this is the only time he would see these signs. Dr. Allen recalls, as the train traveled further south, the worse things became. This experience had a great impact on Dr. Allen’s life and Dr. Allen was resolute not to let anything deter him from seizing the advantages of whatever opportunities the future might hold for him.
In 1961, Dr. Allen earned a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Paris at the Sorbonne at the University of Paris. Remembering his 1946 train ride, Dr. Allen expected a similar experience, only to be flabbergasted that in Dr. Allen’s own words, “My ethnicity was never an issue.” This was a new and freeing experience as Dr. Allen traveled widely throughout Europe, never once experiencing any type of bias because of the color of his skin. This, again, was a life changing experience as Dr. Allen was determined never to let his ethnicity in the United States be an impediment in his life.
Returning to the United States in 1962, from his experiences and contacts made in Paris, Dr. Allen decided his career would be within the citadel of capitalism, on Wall Street.