Although business is business, it’s important to realize that throughout history, Black businesses, for the most part, have had to build and restructure themselves around various laws and societal prejudices in order to succeed, both before and after the United States Civil War.
Being almost two centuries out of the Civil War, although Black people have acquired more overall, there is still a large amount of work to do and businesses to grow as a result of racism burning down the successes of Black people individually and in whole literally.
One major way to never lose the path of independence in every way is through reading. The most powerful Black people in history were readers and writers. People like Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DeBois, and a woman by the name of Maggie Lena Walker, the first African American woman to found a bank in the United States of America in 1903, were all readers.
As a matter of fact, Maggie Lena Walker maintained her own library in her mansion of twenty rooms. The books she read had to do with Black history and self sufficiency and independence in Black pride. She’d seen the way up for the Black man and woman as being self sufficient, and not only did she plan and found the first African American female owned financial institution but she surrounded herself with knowledge from Black business owners, powerful Black people and most importantly, Black books.
The power books by Black authors bring to Black business has to do with:
- History – knowing what the obstacles will be ahead of time based on Black entrepreneurs of the past
- Finances – learning money/capitalism and knowing how to obtain money despite unfair lending bank and government practices
- Networking – knowing how to build off relationships and inspire each other
- Organizations – learn a multitude of organizations that have stood behind and beside Black business
- Architecture – learn how to build the inner workings and “circulatory system” of a business structure so that it flows seamlessly