Don Cheadle has acquired the film and TV rights to the book Prince Of Darkness: The Story Of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, America’s First Black Millionaire with plans to turn the book into a film. Jeremiah G. Hamilton lived during the 19th century and became the first Black person to have success on Wall Street.
Hamilton was a ruthless businessman who made his wealth as a broker by ignoring racism and ethics. He was bold and unusual but was never mentionedÂ until Shane White wrote the book about him. It was assumed for years that Madame C.J. Walker was the first Black millionaire but Hamilton made his fortune decades before Walker. He was rare because of his ability to infiltrate Wall Street as a Black person at that time in history and he also had a white spouse. When he died in 1875 he was called the richest Black man in the United States.
Cheadle will star as Hamilton in theÂ role that has no physical requirements other than a Black appearance because there are no known photographs of Hamilton. He will also produce Prince Of Darkness and Steven Baigelman, who worked with Cheadle on Miles Ahead, is writing the screenplay.
Shane White’s book received the 2015 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Best Book Prize and you can get a copy of it from Amazon.