Photo credits: The Library of Congress
On August 23, 1900, Booker T. Washington (pictured) established in Boston, Massachusetts, what would later be known as the National Negro Business League (NNBL).
To promote its inception, Washington (a celebrated early Black American educator and activist) regarded his league as a chance to enhance race relations in this country between blacks and whites. He said this could be done by fostering economic and commercial growth between many recently liberated Blacks after the banning of slavery.
Washington’s insisted that his dream could be accomplished through regularly pursued participation within his NNBL entity. With the hopes of shoring up support from affluent cross-sections of the public, which he chose as his target audience, Washington prepared himself to be civilly outspoken as he campaigned his purpose for administering and building the NNBL organization. He once stated:
“At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion itself, there must be [business ownership obtained] by our race, as [well as] for all races [that are collective seeking] economic foundation, economic prosperity, and economic independence.”
Washington also had faith in the notion that the African-American population’s potential to achieve equality with whites more quickly would come through mutual respect. This meant inclusively sprouting Black business ownership entities, which were capable of financially flourishing on their own.
Proprietary leadership would come from Black individuals who were up to the task. Booker T. Washington was a sharp educator. He also understood fundraising and the organizational structure of companies. However, he did not agree with the idea that Blacks would ever raise their station in America by primarily concentrating on the one-trick pony of demanding voter participation in order to obtain political and social rights.
The NNBL had local chapters all across the United States, the majority of which were located in the South.