Imagine sitting in a room of 49 white men and you are a black man that is trying to fulfill your dream to become a Certified Public Accountant.
Chauncey Lewis Christian, CPA
In 1926 Black people were not allowed to take the Kentucky CPA Exam. Samuel Plato, Mr. Christian’s employer, encouraged him to study for the CPA exam through a correspondence course, as he was fair-skinned enough to pass as a white man. In an interview with Mr. Christian, he stated that even though his father was a white man he was advised to submit his application as late as possible to preclude the background check which would have resulted in his exclusion due to race, as his mother was black and he had attended segregated schools.
Seven men passed the CPA exam that day and Chauncey Lewis was one of the seven, becoming the 3rd Black CPA in the U.S and the 1st Black CPA in the state of Kentucky.
Mr. Christian moved his family to New York and worked at the Gale Agency a supplier of talents such as Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots. In 1958, the Gale Agency became the Circle Artist Corporation. Mr. Christian became part owner and secretary-treasurer making him the only partner in a prominent Broadway talent agency.
Join NSBCPA we have a history that we must continue!