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Overview

Founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900, the National Negro Business League (NNBL) sought to promote the "commercial, agricultural, educational, and industrial advancement" of African Americans. Thus its aims were broader than its title suggested, complementing the program of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which emphasized social and legal objectives more than economic. Part 1 contains the NNBL_s verbatim Annual Conference Proceedings, 1900_1919, the basic testament of the organization_s ideology, growth, and activities. Reports and speeches of conference participants abound in personal stories of obstacles overcome, and suggest strategies for black economic advancement. These strategies usually hinged upon interracial cooperation, product improvement, and the pooling of capital. Most NNBL leaders believed that black businesses could not thrive for long unless their prosperity was spread through the community. Hence there was a pronounced communitarian ethic within the movement. UPA_s collection reproduces, from the Tuskegee University archives, the only set of NNBL conference proceedings known to exist.

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