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Center for Black Business History, Entrepreneurship and Technology
About The Center

The Center for the Study of Black Business, History, Entrepreneurship and Technology was founded at the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 by Professor Juliet E. K. Walker, considered the foremost scholar in African American Business History.


The Center for the Study of Black Business, History, Entrepreneurship and Technology is the first center established at any American college or university that will provide a comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative study of all aspects of black business from various disciplines in the liberal arts, specifically within the context of the impact of racial capitalism on black business activity.


The Center for the Study of Black Business, History, Entrepreneurship and Technology was founded in response to the glaring racial economic disparities in wealth holding, employment opportunities, income and business profits, which underscore the extent to which Black America has yet to achieve economic parity with White America, whether as employees in White Corporate America or as business owners in Black Corporate America.

Wealth in a capitalist free enterprise society is generated in the private sector but the greatest expansion of black business since the 1960s has been a result of federal government affirmative action and black capitalism policies and initiatives in the 1970s.

Yet, how really successful have those policies been if blacks in business at the end of the twentieth century generated .4 of one percent of the nation's total business receipts. , while in less than one decade, the 1990s, black business performance was outstripped in both numbers of business enterprises and business receipts by other minority ethnic groups.

Even more, despite a virtual four century tradition or black business activities from slavery to freedom, economists as well as public policy analysts who chart the economic position of blacks, especially since the Civil Rights era, still continue to attribute the comparative poor performance of blacks to the absence of a historical tradition of business participation,


Black business does not operate in a vacuum, separate and apart from other economic, political and societal institutions and policies that influence all aspects of American life.

While business schools emphasize the various ways White Corporate American can improve its performance, there have been few systematic attempts or even serious formulations of theoretical constructs and strategies that consider the full societal, political and economic factors that continue to impede the profitability of black business in America.

Particularly, business schools fail to factor in the impact of racial capitalism on black business activity. Rather, there is an increasing emphasis on ways through corporate communication, advertising and diversity hires to capitalize on the tremendous buying power of black consumers, while reciprocal strategies that could promote black business expansion are seldom, if at all, considered in courses offered in business schools.

Consequently, the Center is established in the College of Liberal Arts, reflecting a major goal of the Center, which is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas not only from all disciplines in the liberal arts but also from all sectors in the American business community.

The Center, then, will also encourage participation of business scholars, corporate business people and entrepreneurs, as well as specialists in business from both the pubic and private sectors, as part of a collaborative and interdisciplinary effort to address issues relating to black business.

In meeting the University of Texas's commitment to public service, community business people will be encouraged to attend and participate in Center's seminars and forums.


With economic empowerment being the goal of the next Civil Rights movement, it becomes imperative that there should be a formal coherent concerted effort to provide for the study of black business history entrepreneurship, and technology within the context of the political, economic and social setting of America's free enterprise system.

The resources of the Center will be utilized to examine all aspects of black business activity from various disciplines, while at the same time identifying and assessing those factors in the New Economy that have not been encouraging to the expansion of black business activity from small business enterprises to that of Black Corporate America.   

In its expansion, the Center will also serve as a repository for information on all aspects of black business, including compiling information for dissemination on the activities of various institutions and agencies that are addressing issues relating to black business activity.


The Center will also serve as a clearing house for information on Black Business and Black Consumers in every state and will include the following activities:

  • Identify individuals in each state who have already begun to collect information on the history of black business in that state.
  • Provide information to interested individuals who want to be involved in collecting Information on black business in that state
  • Establish, with support of UT Libraries, a special collection on black business resources activity, including, especially, papers of Texas black businesspeople as well as media sources that relate to blk business activity, movies, records, documentaries.
  • Compare and analyze the degree of effectiveness of Federal, state and local laws and municipal ordinances that relate to black business development, successes, failure
  • Establish the University of Texas at Austin as a model for other colleges and universities in the collection of black business history materials as well as information on contemporary businesses
  • Provide assistance to other universities in Texas as well as other states in promoting the study of black business.
  • Provide graduate and undergraduate students with state-of-the-art information on black business from scholars and business experts and courses connected with the Center.
  • Provide Texas businesspeople with information on black business activity, diversity management and black consumers as well as an opportunity to contribute to as well as access current issues on black business.
  • Facilitate black business research through awarding predoctoral, post-doctoral and mid-career fellowships.
  • Disseminate research through seminars, symposia, conferences, invited lectures.
  • Publish conference proceedings, lectures and fellowship research