Jump to content

March Book - The World According to Fannie Davis by Bridgett M. Davis


Recommended Posts

Learn more about The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers

The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers
by Bridgett M. Davis

Publication Date: 
List Price: $28.00 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 320
ISBN13: 9780316558730
Imprint: Little, Brown and Company

Read Tony Lindsay’s Review of The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers

Book Description:
"This outstanding book is a tribute to one woman but will surely speak to the experiences of many" (Kirkus) A singular memoir that tells the story of one unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and the life they lead in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s

In 1958, the very same year that an unknown songwriter named Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown Records, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee borrowed $100 from her brother to run a Numbers racket out of her tattered apartment on Delaware Street, in one of Detroit’s worst sections. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis’ mother. Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, granddaughter of slaves, Fannie became more than a numbers runner: she was a kind of Ulysses, guiding both her husbands, five children and a grandson through the decimation of a once-proud city using her wit, style, guts, and even gun. She ran her numbers business for 34 years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: "Dying is easy. Living takes guts."

A daughter’s moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to "make a way out of no way" to provide a prosperous life for her family — and how those sacrifices resonate over time. This original, timely, and deeply relatable portrait of one American family is essential reading.

More books like The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers may be found by selecting the categories below:


Tell us what do you think about The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Troy pinned and featured this topic

The World According to Fannie Davis is the story of a Black woman who became a numbers’ banker, which was a miraculous accomplishment because the numbers industry was male dominated. The book is the story of a spiritual woman who believed God helps those who helped themselves. The woman, who family and friends thought of as “lucky,” was Bridgett M. Davis’ mother, Fannie Davis. 

Fannie Davis was a true humanitarian, a lover of her community, and a consistent provider for those she cared about. In the book, her life represents a profession that is seldom given credit for the advancement it caused within the Black community. Bridgett M. Davis uses Detroit, MI. to illustrate the positive impact numbers entrepreneurs had on the community. 

Davis explains how the numbers bankers assisted in keeping the Black dollar within the community by circulating funds to other businesses, providing start up capital, and creating an independence away from the often hostile and predatory banking institutions. This financial self-reliance led to pride within Detroit’s Black community; this liberated stance is exemplified in Davis’ writing about her mother.  

The reader meets a woman who believed “that the only way she’d have more than what this country intended for her was to work for herself in a business she controlled that depended on a black clientele” (56). With a hundred dollar loan from her brother Fannie Davis built an illegal business that supported her family and others in her community for over three decades. 

Through a memoirist style Bridgett M. Davis uses her family history, the history of Detroit numbers, civil rights conflicts, Black bourgeoisie and Black working class conflict, divorce, family lost, sickness, and grief to give the reader an intimate look at her mother’s life in the Detroit numbers. Davis’ span of events reaches back to Denmark Vesey winning $1500 in 1799 lottery and purchasing his freedom - to modern day legislation and state lotteries destroying a traditional source of revenue for Black communities. Davis offers the reader a different perspective on what was historically thought of as an illegal enterprise. From the history she offers, the reader understands the pride and self-reliance that the Black owned industry produced.    


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Troy unpinned and unfeatured this topic
  • Create New...