|Theodore and Pearlie Mack October 10, 1970|
Taken at face value, the event looks like an awkward mea culpa staged to gloss over the eruption of bigotry that followed the news that Mack was trying to purchase the brewery. But if you dig a little deeper you find that perhaps the show of support Mack received in October of 1970 was more earnest than it appears. Before Mack was able to complete his purchase of the brewery, he needed to raise an additional $200,000 to supplement the $390,000 loan he had already acquired. Mack’s plan for raising the additional money was to sell stock in the company. Within five weeks of the stock going on sale he had the money he needed and, according to Mack, much of that stock had been purchased by Oshkosh residents. The Sunday following the event the Milwaukee Journal quoted a “white woman doctor” who didn’t wish to be named who said, “Investing in Peoples Brewery is not like watching the stock market. It’s watching a venture in which we are all concerned.” That’s quite a contrast to the attitudes reported upon six months earlier when, amidst the uproar, nobody bothered to notice that there were a significant number of people in Oshkosh capable of identifying with and investing in the dreams of a black man.