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Timeline of African Americans/Blacks in business in America
13th February 2022 • MKG Tax Consultants News, View Points, Taxes & Finances • MKG Tax Consultants
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Timeline of African Americans/Blacks in business in America

The 19th century was not the beginning of Black business in America, but this century would see these pursuits being organized along the lines of and under the newly reconstructed U.S. Government structure. The 1800s saw the creation of many businesses, including insurance companies, banks, and newspapers. The first Black insurance company, The African Insurance Company, was founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1810. The first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, was founded in New York, NY in 1827. However, by the end of the century, many gains made after the enslavement ended were lost due to Jim Crow, Black Codes, segregation, and theft.

The 20th century began with the formation of the National Negro Business League (currently the National Business League). The year 1900 would usher in the “Golden Age of Black business”, named so by historian, Juliet E. K. Walker. This would last from approximately 1900 to 1930, most likely ending due to The Great Depression, 1929-1939, and race riots and massacres, including one of the best-known, the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, which spanned from May 31 through June 1 that year and was the first time in history the United States bombed its own people.

In the first decade of the 21st century, Black businesses experienced the largest growth, adding 0.8 million businesses. The creation of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Protection Act to assist Black-owned businesses procure more federal contracts. This Act also established the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) which among other duties, develops standards for equal employment opportunity and the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the workforce. The years 2020-2021 saw racial unrest coupled with a pandemic, spurring a rebuilding of Black/African American business and economic bases.

Honoring Black History Month



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