This series examines the myriad ways in which business has affected all areas of modern industrial societies. In addition to providing solid analyses of important business concepts, these studies offer provocative examinations of the institutions and individuals who have shaped the history of modern business enterprise. This volume expands the field of African American history, which has traditionally been limited to the political, social, and cultural history, by presenting the first comprehensive survey of black business development to date. Beginning in the 1600s Africans in America, both slave and free, seized every opportunity to develop enterprises and participate as business people in the enterprises and participate as business people in the commercial life of our developing nation. Despite the fact that slavery and then racism inhibited attempts by blacks to develop competitive enterprises, Black American business activity is distinguished by a sequential establishment of small enterprises. This unique history challenges the assumptions of those who assert that African Americans lack an entrepreneurial tradition.