Every year in the United States we celebrate the achievements of African Americans through Black History Month. Made official in 1976 by President Gerald Ford, Black History Month occurs every February and was created to teach us about the contributions Black people have made that were too often left out of the history books.
Today, Black History Month isn’t only taught inside of classrooms; many websites, publications, and media outlets use the opportunity to highlight Black individuals who have contributed greatly to American society. Adults and children alike can act as students and become educated on Black history, which is synonymous with American history.
It would be impossible to list every single way Black people have made contributions throughout the years, so we at Stacker narrowed the field a bit and focus on business. We reviewed magazines, academic journals, newspapers, and other outlets who focus on Black history to compile a list of 25 Black businesspeople who helped shape American society. Since business affects many aspects of American life, these are people who impacted not only American business but also the economy, politics, culture, and more. From slavery to the civil rights movement to today’s top earners, black people have helped to make the United States the country you see today.
In this list you’ll see some familiar faces you may have learned about in school, and business leaders who affect your daily life that you never knew about. Some you may even recognize from prime-time television. There are modern-day leaders who continue to do great things and people who revolutionized business many years ago. Although this is not meant to be a fully comprehensive list, these are 25 Black businesspeople who have helped shape America.
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