Writer Recalls Her Mother's Secret Gambling Enterprise Before states ran legal lotteries there was the underground street version — the numbers. When writer Bridgett M. Davis was growing up in Detroit in the '60s, her mother was a successful bookie in the African American community. She says the numbers helped fund both an underground economy and legitimate businesses at a time when opportunities for African-Americans were limited. "Numbers men were also race men, and they believed in taking their largesse and reinvesting it in the community, starting all kinds of businesses — everything from, say, a bowling alley to an insurance company to a newspaper." Davis' memoir is 'The World According to Fannie Davis.'
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Writer Recalls Her Mother's Secret Gambling Enterprise

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Writer Recalls Her Mother's Secret Gambling Enterprise

Writer Recalls Her Mother's Secret Gambling Enterprise

Writer Recalls Her Mother's Secret Gambling Enterprise

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/691293839/702162283" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Before states ran legal lotteries there was the underground street version — the numbers. When writer Bridgett M. Davis was growing up in Detroit in the '60s, her mother was a successful bookie in the African American community. She says the numbers helped fund both an underground economy and legitimate businesses at a time when opportunities for African-Americans were limited. "Numbers men were also race men, and they believed in taking their largesse and reinvesting it in the community, starting all kinds of businesses — everything from, say, a bowling alley to an insurance company to a newspaper." Davis' memoir is 'The World According to Fannie Davis.'