Black Abolitionists: National Negro Business League


National Negro Business League

Built 5000 Rosenwald Schools with African-American communities in the South!

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), founder and principal of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, organized the National Negro Business League in 1900 to promote “commercial, agricultural, educational, and industrial advancement … and the commercial and financial development of the Negro.”

Washington was hoping that the League would encourage blacks to start their own businesses, thus proving that they were as capable as whites of economic success.

The League’s membership included some successful black businessmen (and women) and professionals and a large number of the black middle class “strivers” who hoped to start their businesses.

Margaret Clifford, Washington’s granddaughter, noted that her grandfather also encouraged women to develop business skills. “He started the National Business League while he was in Tuskegee so people could learn how to start a business, make a business grow and go and prosper and make a profit.

When I went to high school, even though he had been dead for some years, his educational practices were still in practice. They explored all the trades. The girls studied cooking, sewing, and handicrafts the first two years, and the last two years they specialized.”

The League operated through state and local chapters, many of which were located in the South. League meetings were held to allow small people in business to make contact with each other, and share stories of their struggles and successes.

The league had financial support from white businessmen. Washington used his social and economic access to influential leaders of the white business elite — including department-store magnate John Wanamaker, steel mogul Andrew Carnegie, and Julius Rosenwald, head of the Sears, Roebuck mail-order company — to support his efforts.

Thank you, Donn Cooks, for the following link and information~ The National Business League – Home
The National Business League is an organization founded in 1900 to foster economic development and business enterprise in the Black community.


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