For release: April 7, 2009
For press information, contact Louis Goggans, 423-903-0901 or Sheri Neely,
Lee Hawkins, author of the forthcoming book NEWBOs: The Rise of the New Black Overclass, will speak at the University of Memphis on Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Zach Curlin
garage or the Southern Avenue parking lot.
The theme of the “Evening with a Distinguished Journalist” is “Success, Wisdom, and
Wealth: Achieving the American Dream Responsibly.” The event will be hosted by the
U of M chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and sponsored by the
Student Event Allocation Committee.
It will feature excerpts from Hawkins’ documentary, NEWBOs: The Rise of the New Black Overclass, which premiered in February on CNBC. The one-hour documentary was based on reporting
from Hawkins’ book of the same name.
Hawkins coined the term “new black overclass” to describe black entrepreneurs in the
entertainment, media, and sports industries who have risen in the last decade to create
the largest population of black multimillionaires in history. This project examines
the rise of “Newbos” and how those with the right amount of financial literacy, collaboration,
inter-generational mentorship, and social awareness could have a profound, positive
impact on black America.
Hawkins is a Wall Street Journal reporter and CNBC correspondent. His stories on CNBC have included interviews with
best-selling author James Patterson, media moguls Russell Simmons and Bob Johnson,
fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger, and a profile on hedge fund guru Eddie Lampert.
Hawkins covered General Motors Corporation from the Detroit bureau for the Journal. Before covering GM and the challenges facing America’s “big three” automakers,
he worked as a business reporter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal.