Black capitalism is a movement among African Americans to build wealth through the ownership and development of businesses. Black capitalism has traditionally focused on African-American businesses, although some critics and activists have also pushed for increased representation of Blacks in corporate America.
Roots of black capitalism can be found in the lives of Free Negroes during times of the American Enslavement. Many records exist reporting the development of economic wealth by these Free Negroes.
The earliest recorded words touting the economic upliftment of African Americans by an African American was written by Lewis Woodson under the pen name Augustine in the Coloured American newspaper. Woodson helped found Wilberforce University and the first AME Theological seminary, Payne Theological Seminary and was an early teacher and mentor of Martin Delany.
A prominent southern affluent black was A. G. Gaston who was, at times, instrumental in the civil rights movement. Galston was influenced by Booker T. Washington, who was an early leader at the Tuskegee Institute. Another wealthy African American was Robert Reed Church, who founded the nations first black-owned bank, Solvent Savings, in 1906.
There are many historical and current examples of neighborhoods of prominent and affluent blacks in American history. Some include the historical Highland Beach, Maryland and more recently Mount Airy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Prince Georges County, Maryland and DeKalb County, Georgia. Mainstream media identifies this with some interest.
A more focused movement of black capitalism can be found in the popular magazine Black Enterprise.
There are two strands of black capitalism: the one focuses on success as a group, while the other focuses on success as an individual.
One strain of black capitalism is immersed in the ethic of African Americans building wealth together, as exemplified in the Kwanzaa value of ujamaa meaning cooperative economics. A prominent proponent and example of