A few years ago, Terverius Black, an independent hip-hop producer in Huntsville, Ala., was getting nervous about the state of the record industry.

To hedge his financial bets, he started a commercial cleaning business on the side and consulted with a financial adviser about how to survive in a down economy while still pursuing his artistic dreams.

Black, now 36, mentioned to the adviser that he had directed several music videos of the hip-hop artists he’d recorded. He was hoping to one day go from producing records to producing movies. He had just finished his first script, he told her, about a Christian hip-hop group struggling to stay true to their values in a music industry filled with distraction and sin.

A few weeks later, Black — who is African-American — had $200,000 in his bank account, courtesy of the financial adviser’s aunt, Lavon Colman — a white woman from Memphis, Tenn. Colman’s father, a minister, had held tent revivals with a black pastor in civil-rights era Tennessee, Black said.

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