Black Business Icons
Maggie L. Walker & Earl Graves Sr.
Maggie L. Walker and Earl Graves, Sr. were born decades apart, but both understood the importance of economic independence for the Black community. Maggie L. Walker, the daughter of an Irish confederate soldier, saw her opening when the Independent Order of St. Luke’s needed help with membership and finances. In 1903, she started a bank, a newspaper, and a department store in response. Earl Graves, Sr. believed in the power of the Black dollar. In 1970, he convinced advertisers of the need for them to market to Black people. With the money he raised from advertisers, along with a one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollar loan, he started Black Enterprise Magazine, which is still in publication today.
Up Next in Season 1
Annie Minerva Malone & Janice Bryant ...
Annie Malone and Janice Bryant Howroyd have demonstrated that it takes ingenuity, grit, and work ethic to make something from nothing. Annie Malone began her career as a door-to-door saleswoman for her haircare products. She turned that into a global operation that employed thousands of people. J...
O.W. Gurley & Reginald F. Lewis
O. W. Gurley and Reginald F. Lewis were two businessmen who turned their visions into reality. O. W. Gurley envisioned an enclave where Black people could thrive. He started Greenwood Avenue with one two-story boarding house and grew it into what would later be called Black Wall Street. Reginald ...