Black Americans in the Business World

Black Americans Who Broke Barriers in the Business World

Historically, in the business world, African-Americans have been making huge strides by overcoming barriers in the industry while fighting inequality in the process. 

Here are some of the Black Americas who broke barriers with a little note on what they are best known for.

Bridget Mason

She was one of the first African-Americans to buy land in Los Angeles. She helped to found an elementary school for Black children and the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, L.A.’s first and oldest Black church.

O.W. Gurley

Gurley was instrumental in the development of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, also known as Black Wall Street, where he is credited with owning the first Black business. He owned a grocery store and boarding house, founded a church, and built a hotel named after himself.

J.B. Stradford

He opened the 54-room luxury Stradford Hotel in 1918, and by 1920 he was the wealthiest Black man in Tulsa, according to the website

Maggie Lena Walker

She is most well known for founding the Virginia-based St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in 1903, making her the first woman of any race to charter a bank in the United States.

Annie Turnbo Malone

Malone is credited with being one of the nation’s first Black female millionaires based on the success of her Poro cosmetics and hair-care business.

The list goes on. Read more: Black Americans Who Broke Barriers in the Business World

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