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Black History Month

Black History Month is when we celebrate and honor those that paved the way, a time dedicated to recognizing the profound contributions made by African Americans to the nation. Originally established as Negro History Week in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a pioneering African American historian, this month-long observance has evolved into Black History Month, officially recognized in 1976. Choosing February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, Dr. Woodson aimed to highlight figures pivotal in the fight against slavery and the advancement of civil rights.

Continuing their Vision: Black Business Icons

Black History Month is when we celebrate and honor those that paved the way, a time dedicated to recognizing the profound contributions made by...

Elleanor Eldridge

Elleanor Eldridge was born to Robin Eldridge, who had gained his freedom after serving in the Revolutionary War, and a Native American mother, Hannah...

Frank McWorter

Free Frank McWorter was an American frontiersman who found fortune, became the first African American to register a town, and spent his life liberating...

Amos Fortune

Amos Fortune was a prominent tanner, bookbinder, and philanthropist who bought his freedom in colonial New England as an African-American man. Fortune became highly...

Annie T. Malone

Annie T. Malone was an Entrepreneur and philanthropist who made her start in the beauty and hair industry by creating a hair product for...

Madame C.J Walker

Madame C. J. Walker one of the most celebrated and recognized African American entrepreneurs, Madame C.J. Walker made her mark on the hair and...

Jeremiah Hamilton 

Jeremiah G. Hamilton (a.k.a. Jerry Hamilton, though both names may be fictitious) was known as the “Prince of Darkness” and considered the wealthiest African...

Ottowa W. Gurley

Gurley was an educator and entrepreneur who made his wealth as a landowner. In 1889, along with his wife, he came to what was then known...

Henrietta Smith Bowers Duterte

Henrietta Smith Bowers Duterte is the first female undertaker in the nation, was born free in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Henrietta Bowers was a tailor who...

Alonzo Franklin Herndon

Alonzo Franklin Herndon was an African American entrepreneur who founded and was the first president of Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Herndon worked on his...

The National Negro Business League

The National Negro Business League (NNBL) was founded by Booker T. Washington in Boston, Massachusetts in 1900.  The league, which predated the United States...

A.J Smitherman

A.J. Smitherman had established himself as one of the leading lights of the African-American community. The founder and publisher of the Tulsa Star as...

Maggie Lena Draper Walker

Mitchell worked as a delivery woman and babysitter while attending segregated public schools in Richmond. Nonetheless Mitchell graduated at the very top of her...

Anthony Overton

Born into slavery in 1865, Anthony Overton became a leading African American entrepreneur during the twentieth century with the establishment of his Chicago-based empire....

Charles Clinton Spaulding

Charles Clinton Spaulding served as president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, the largest black-owned insurance company in the United States. Spaulding...

Robert S. Abbott

In 1905, Robert S. Abbott founded The Chicago Defender with 25 cents and a press run of 300 copies. The Defender became one of...

Rose Meta Morgan

Following the business example of her father, industrious former sharecropper Chaptle Morgan, Rose Morgan began making artificial flowers and convincing neighborhood children to sell...

Jesse Binga

Jesse Binga’s rise from relative poverty to become the wealthiest African American entrepreneur and banker in Chicago in the late 19th century earned him...

Frederick Jones

Frederick McKinley Jones was a black inventor who helped to revolutionize both the cinema and refrigeration industries.  Between 1919 and 1945 he patented more...

Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr.

Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr. was an American inventor, businessman, and community leader. His most notable inventions were a type of three-way traffic light, and...

Marie Van Brittan Brown

Marie Van Brittan Brown was an American nurse and innovator. In 1966, she invented a video home security system along with her husband Albert...

Granville Tailer Woods

Granville Tailer Woods was an American inventor who held more than 50 patents in the United States. He was the first African American mechanical...

Lewis Howard Latimer

Lewis Howard Latimer was an American inventor and patent draftsman. His inventions included an evaporative air conditioner, an improved process for manufacturing carbon filaments...

Henry Blair

Henry Blair was the second African American inventor to receive a US patent. He was born in Glen Ross, Maryland, United States, in 1807....

Sarah Boone

Sarah Boone was an African-American inventor. On April 26, 1892, she obtained United States patent number 473,563 for her improvements to the ironing board....

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was an American agricultural scientist and inventor who promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion. He was...