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February is Black History Month and here we take a look at franchising and the role it has played in Black history, from business role models to economic empowerment, to business ownership.
Black History Month
Black History Month is an annual observance in the United States, and around the world, that celebrates the history, contributions and achievements of those within the Black community. Here in the U.S and in Canada Black History Month is celebrated in February.
Its roots are based in the celebrations of Negro History Week, which dates back to 1926 and was a week-long observance that fell in February to coincide with the birthdays of two important figures in Black History Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
In 1976, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History Month, and was officially recognized by the U.S. government. Since then, Black History Month has been celebrated each year with various activities, events and ceremonies to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans and to education others about their rich history and culture.
Contributions of Franchising to Black History
When looking at the contributions and achievements of African-Americans, franchising has played a significant role in Black history, both as a way for African-American entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and as a tool for social and economic advancements. During the early 20th Century, African Americans faced significant obstacles when it came to starting their own businesses due to widespread discrimination and lack of access to capital and funding. However, some found success through franchising.
A.G. Gaston was a Black entrepreneur who owned a number of various businesses in Birmingham, AL. Gaston became a franchisee of the National Negro Business League, which provided him with access to training and resources that helped him to grow his businesses. Through franchising, Gaston became one of the wealthiest Americans of his time.
Herman J. Russell, founder of construction company HJ. Russell & Co in Atlanta, GA, was one of the first African American McDonald’s franchise owners in the country. Having come to own a large number of McDonald’s franchises, Russell became a prominent businessman and philanthropist.
“Franchising has played an important role in our country’s history,” says Derek Cafferata, President and CEO of franchise experts All State Franchise Finders. “It has been a great tool for social and economic empowerment in African-American communities.”
During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, leader Jesse Jackson founded Operation Breadbasket, which focussed on promoting economic development within Black communities. One of the organization’s strategies was to encourage corporations to franchise their businesses in African-American neighborhoods, providing jobs and business opportunities for local residents.
“Franchising, and franchisors, are in a unique position to help promote African Americans in business,” says Derek. “Franchising offers economic empowerment and business ownership by utilizing the benefits of the larger organization to help fund, train, develop and support Black entrepreneurs and other minority groups.”
As a means of economic advancement and empowerment, franchising has played a significant role in the rich history of African Americans over the many years. Many Black entrepreneurs have found success through franchising and have gone on to make a real difference within their local communities and further afield. The franchise business model has been a great tool for promoting economic and social development within African American communities across the United States.
Franchise Experts All State Franchise Finders
Derek Cafferata leads an award-winning team of franchise experts at All State Franchise Finders. Located with headquarters in Fort Worth, TX, Derek brings more than 30 years’ experience in the franchising industry, both in the U.S. and internationally. For those interested in finding out more about franchising, as a franchisor or a franchisee, then contact the experienced and knowledgeable team at ALLSTATEFF.COM on 1-800-544-2161 or visit ALLSTATEFF.COM today.