Bunny Stokes, Jr., the last among A.G. Gaston’s loyal business leaders, dies

They were a unique, historic, and powerful fraternity.

Fraternity, yes. All men. All products of an age not quite yet willing to elevate women to a deserved place alongside them.

They were A.G. Gaston’s most trusted. His most loyal. They were educated and savvy.

They helped build, grow and sustain the varied enterprises comprising the portfolio of Birmingham’s most revered Black businessman. Heck, most revered businessman, if not certainly in the room.

Now, they are all gone — all the senior executive leaders who helmed insurance and banking ventures birthed by Gaston. Ventures that showed Black men could thrive, independently, in sectors that scoffed at their skills, scoffed at their aptitude.

Scoffed at their skin.

Bunny Stokes, Jr. died this week. He was the last of them, the lone remaining of the senior executives who worked under Gaston’s tutelage.

Call them Baby Gastons. Black men who ran stuff — who nurtured the varied fruit of Gaston’s…

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