The National Negro Business League (NNBL) was founded by Booker T. Washington in Boston, Massachusetts in 1900. The league, which predated the United States Chamber of Commerce by 12 years, strives to enhance the commercial and economic prosperity of the African American community. The NNBL was formally incorporated in 1901 in New York, and established hundreds of chapters across the United States. In 1966, the National Negro Business League was reincorporated in Washington, D.C. and renamed the National Business League.
Booker T. Washington believed that solutions to the problem of racial discrimination were primarily economic, and that African American entrepreneurship was vital. Thus, he founded the league to further the economic development of the African American businesses in order to achieve social equality in the American society. Members in the league included small business owners, farmers, doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, and other professionals. The league maintained directories for all major US cities and incorporated African American contacts in numerous businesses.
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