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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 2 contains a remarkable breadth of private correspondence between headquarters and black newspaper publishers, entrepreneurs, scholars, insurance company executives, and other business and professional people. The NNBL avidly recruited businesswomen, and they are well represented here. Reports from NNBL organizers provide demographic detail on black business leaders in scores of communities throughout the country, often including lists of black-owned businesses with observations about the owners. After 1912, organizers_ reports also monitor the growth of the NAACP at the local level.
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Exploring primary resources from the ‘80s and ‘90s reveal that since the beginning, critic struggled with classifying Cornell’s singular rock ’n ’roll vision.