Chapter 7 describes Headen’s difficulties expanding his coalition strategy as he moved from auto manufacturing to auto racing in the mid-1920s. Documented are his reconfiguration of the Afro-American Automobile Association to focus on dirt-track racing; his career as an auto racer and race promoter; and internal rifts within his coalition based on gender, professional competition, and religious and political differences. The chapter explores defections from the coalition by women and religious figures, upset over the switch from a business model dedicated to racial advancement to a track culture steeped in profanity, alcohol, and danger; departures by political conservatives upset over the selection of a prominent black nationalist as the Association’s publicist; and Headen’s rejection by fellow race organizers competing directly with him for audiences. These internal conflicts, which eventually splintered both the Association and Headen’s marriage, ultimately revealed the limits of the “coalition economics” model.
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