The BE 100s—Black
‘s rankings of the nation’s largest
businesses—turned 45 this year. As our CEO Earl “Butch” Graves
Jr. wrote in his “Executive Memo” column on the mission behind
the development of our exclusive roster: “We found that it was
equally important to produce an annual barometer of black
business as it was to tell the monthly stories of founders who
demonstrated tenacity, acumen, and ingenuity to grow their
companies—despite racial discrimination and diminished access
to capital and business opportunities.”



Not only are our editors celebrating this anniversary marked by
audacious action and monumental achievements, we have decided
to share with you the defining moments of black business over
the past four decades. Over 45 days, we reveal a milestone
event each day that has had widespread impact on black economic
development and American industry.

Some may take these stories of entrepreneurial derring-do as
history lessons. However, I believe they represent much more.
Each story is a master class on either business strategy,
organizational management, or innovative ideation, among other
areas, that can be useful for established business owners,
newly-minted disruptors or those operating a venture at any
stage of development.


Weekly Wrap-Up of “45 Greatest Moment in Black Business
History” Nos. 45-39


So for those who missed our first week of great moments, here’s
your opportunity to binge:

No. 45 -#BankBlack: #Bank Black strengthens BE 100s’
mission of entrepreneurship and empowerment:




No. 44 – The Summit Held by President Jimmy Carter: Jimmy
Carter was the first U.S. President to gather black business
leaders at the white house:

(Image: File)



No. 43-Jesse Jackson’s Wall Street Project: Rev.
Jackson said access to capital is the fourth stage of the civil
rights movement:



No. 42-Black Insurers Write New Life Policies: Many black
fortunes have been made through insurance, despite industry’s

(Alonzo Franklin
Herndon. Image: File)



No. 41- The legacy of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown: His
tragic death rocked the political and business world, yet, his
legacy lives



No. 40-The Auto Dealer That Broke the Billion-Dollar Barrier:
His is one of the few black businesses to reach $1 billion

(Image: Black
Enterprise Magazine; June 2005)



No. 39-Ronald Blaylock Seals $150 Million Deal: It was
unprecedented—a black firm negotiated a multimillion-dollar
deal with Texaco:

(Image: Black
Enterprise Magazine; June 1998)





Access the entire digital version of the 2017
May/June issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE featuring our 2017 BE 100s
report and subscribe to Black Enterprise Magazine here.

And view the full list of the 2017 BE
100s here.