The history of Black Business Month can be traced back to the year 2004 when engineering entrepreneur Frederick E. Jordan partnered with John William Templeton, the president and executive editor of the scholarly publishing company eAccess Corp. They initiated this annual reflection and recognition event with the intention of driving the policy agenda that affects the 2.6 million African-American businesses. The main focus was to highlight and empower Black business owners all over the country, particularly in light of the unique challenges faced by minority business owners. This initiative stemmed from Jordan’s own personal experience of struggling to gain financial backing and funding when he started his own firm in San Francisco back in 1969.
The history of African American businesses is largely an untold story in American history. After the end of slavery, African Americans were finally free to fully capitalize on their skills, capital, and investments for themselves. The success of businesses within the Black community played a significant role in providing financial resources and leadership for the Civil Rights movement in the twentieth century. Notable figures like A. G. Gaston, a multi-millionaire businessman, played essential roles in advancing the movement in Birmingham.
At the Fourth Atlanta Conference in 1898, conference convener Dr. William E.B. DuBois proposed strategies necessary for the growth of Black businesses. Two of these tenets are readily within our reach, but they seem elusive in actual application. The first is the notion that Black individuals would support Black businesses, even if it meant some financial disadvantage, such as paying slightly more. The second is that Black churches, schools, and newspapers would actively promote Black business. One can only imagine where our communities might be today if we had consistently followed these principles for the past 120+ years.
Welcome to the Family
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Drake State Community & Technical College received a $2.4 million grant award as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA), Connecting Minority Communities Pilot (CMCP) program, to help eliminate historical broadband and computer access inequities in and around Madison County, Alabama. Drake State applied for the competitive federal grant, along with more than 200 universities and colleges across the United States. Drake was one of the first five universities and the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to be awarded a CMCP grant by the federal government.
Informative Speakers bring knowledge and spur ideas. Non-members are welcome to attend