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South Carolina - Charleston: Mike Vanderhorst Interviewee
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Mike Vanderhorst in Charleston, South Carolina. His people were descendants of Dutch merchant shippers in Charleston. His family is from Charleston. He was living and working in Washington D.C., but decided to return to his family's home in Charleston. He was raised all over in a military family. His family settled in New Jersey. He decided to attend North Carolina Central University from 1974-1978 because it was the nearest black school with a Navy ROTC. He joined the Navy afterwards. He found that corporate America was not for him. He had bought a house in Washington D.C. and was able to sell his house at a profit and move to South Carolina, get married, and open a business. Most of his customers are older white women in Charleston who are happy with the shipping business. He talks about the needs he has due to the growth of his business. He loves Charleston, but he sees holdovers from the slavery era. He sees this as a new era. There is a need for black leadership. He talks about the power in collectiveness. He thinks the South has a lot of potential. Coming home is important to family. Black contributions to the market are exploited. They need to produce for themselves. Dent notes that his generation has a different view. They were taught that they were in a crisis. Vanderhorst does not see urgency in the reaction to the crisis these days, but he still believes in community. He talks about business he has done recently with a general. He also rents mailboxes that are suite numbers, not P.O. boxes. He talks about why he went into this business, inspired by his love of technology. Dent suggests that he may want to expand in New Orleans. Vanderhorst talks about the black community as loyal consumers. They have power as conscious consumers. It takes a period of sacrifice to build a business, but he thinks they are going to make it. He talks about meeting his wife.
Microphone testing for the first minute.
African AmericansCivil rightsBusiness peopleEconomics
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 149, Item 5, Side 1, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. Copyright Laws.