Black History: Special Delivery!!


 The National Negro Business League (NNBL) was founded by Booker T. Washington in Boston, MA in 1900. It was organized 12 years prior to the US Chamber of Commerce. NNBL’s sought to promote “commercial, agricultural, educational, and industrial advancement … and the commercial and financial development of the Negro.”  Hundreds of chapters were developed across the US. The organization relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1996 and was renamed the National Business League (NBL). Organizations affiliated with NBL included: National Negro Bankers Association, the National Negro Press Association, the National Association of Negro Funeral Directors, the National Negro Bar Association, the National Association of Negro Insurance Men, the National Negro Retail Merchants’ Association, the National Association of Negro Real Estate Dealers, and the National Negro Finance Corporation.

Booker T. Washington believer that African-American entrepreneurship was critical to addressing racial discrimination and disparities.  Members included various types of business owners (farmers, doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, small business and other professionals (both men and women). NBL created directories for all major cities in the US. NBL helped to foster a vibrant business community. NBL also developed strategic relationships with white business owners and companies. Booker T. Washington, himself, maintained strong relationships with many prominent white business owners such as Andrew Carnegie and Julius Rosenwald (President of Sears and Roebuck). NBL is still active today with offices in Atlanta and Washington DC.

Check out the NBL website at: