Johnson Products Company (1954- )

During a period in history when little attention was paid to Black consumers, husband and wife George and Joan Johnson co-founded the Johnson Products Co. in Chicago, Illinois, to cater specifically to Black consumers. The Johnsons founded the company with just $254 in 1954. While … Read MoreJohnson Products Company (1954- )

Sylvanus Smith (1831–1911)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Sylvanus Smith, once described in a city directory as a “hog driver,” was a free black Brooklynite who promoted and protected racial equality, business ownership, and property development in the community of Weeksville, New York. Smith was one of the original … Read MoreSylvanus Smith (1831–1911)

Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman (1953- )

Entrepreneur businessman Ulysses Bridgeman, better known by his nickname, “Junior,” was born on September 17, 1953, in East Chicago, Indiana. His father, Ulysses Sr., worked in a steel mill, and his mother was a homemaker. Bridgeman attended East Washington High School where he maintained a … Read MoreUlysses “Junior” Bridgeman (1953- )

Louisa Matilda Jacobs (1833-1917)

Louisa “Lulu” Matilda Jacobs, teacher, equal rights activist, and entrepreneur, was born a slave in Edenton, North Carolina, on October 19, 1833. She was the daughter of congressman and newspaper editor Samuel Tredwell Sawyer and his mixed-race enslaved mistress Harriet Jacobs. Louisa Jacobs was educated … Read MoreLouisa Matilda Jacobs (1833-1917)