Partners in Economic Justice

Mickey Leland and Charles X White

Partners in Economic Justice

Charles White, Owner of CDW Distributing Co.

After a three employment with Lone Star Co., the largest liquor distributor in Texas at the time.  In 1974, Charles began working toward being the first black liquor distributor in the southwest, by opening CDW Distributing supplying liquor stores and grocery stores small items.  Charles also was a partner with Seemoe Liquors, opening a retail store in Baytown, Texas on Thompson Rd.

The 70’s was a time of expansion for blacks in various fields, but not so,  in the wholesale liquor industry in Texas.  Texas had a unique law that allowed liquor companies to operate as a monopoly.  Which was contrary to federal law.  Charles and State Representative Mickey Leland hooked up, and Charles convinced Representative Leland to author legislation to break the monopoly.  Charles sought out is a friend and mentor Pluira Marshall, Sr., with Operation Breakfast Basket, in a letter-writing the campaign that pushed the issue.  One of Pluira’s legendary quotes, “respect us or expect us.”

Economics was and is the missing link for African Americans regarding equity and remains elusive to this day in Texas and the wholesale liquor industry.   The bill authored to block the monopoly was a featured article in the Texas Beverage News, 1974 or 1975.  Headlined: Two Bills Would Alert Liquor Distribution System in Texas.

Snap Shots from decades ago.