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"Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education." -Martin Luther King Jr.

The week began with the celebration of Martin Luther King Day and President Obama's swearing-in ceremony.  These men have become eponymous for the assertion of 'Black power' in America in an absolutely non violent and socially viable manner.

That's exactly what the Black community has come to represent in the American society over the years. Having risen from the throes of century old stereotypes of slavery, racist abuse and lack of civic amenities like education, the community has produced business leaders who have made their mark spectacularly.

In the words of Martin Luther King "Whatever Your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well the living , the dead and the unborn could do it no better".

We recognize the contributions some outstanding Black entrepreneurs- past and present, here.

1. Bonita Coleman Stewart

She is the face behind Google Inc.'s strategy, sales and client management for the past 20 years in the USA. A Bachelor of Arts from Howard University and MBA from Harvard, the lady is a prolific speaker on marketing and advertising. As the co-founder of Nia Enterprises and a 10 year stint at IBM, Bonita has co-authored "The Fifth P of Marketing". The "Interactive Marketer of the Year" is but a unique blend of marketing, industrial expertise and technological know-how.

2. Alexander Cummings

Born in Liberia, this financial expert with an MBA from Atlanta University, is currently the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and executive Vice-President of the famous beverage brand Coca-Cola. Alexander represents the global face of the black business entrepreneurship adequately. Sitting on various Afro-American developmental Board like Africa-America Institute, Africare, he the Chairman of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.

3. Andrea Taylor

Director of Microsoft's U.S Community Affairs, Taylor has carved her niche in integrating the Corporation with the community, government and business fraternity by promoting livelihoods.

Besides her active engagement with Microsoft, Andrea also heads the Media Fund at Ford Foundation as well as contributes as a educator in Harvard Grad School. Her illustrious persona has seen its mark spread to 4 UN Summits on development and technology besides socio-cultural initiatives.

4. Ursula Burns

The Chairperson and CEO of Xerox was listed as the 14th most powerful lady in the world by Forbes magazine in 2009. Ursula has a lot of exclusive "first's" to her credit ; for  she is  first African-American women CEO to lead a Fortune 500 Company as well as first to succeed another woman to the top post of any Fortune 500 Company ever.

5. Richard D Parsons

This former Chairman of Citigroup has had an illustrious career as a lawyer in New York city alongside the Rockefeller family. His association with the Time Warner's board saw its successful merger with America Online in 2000.Currently a member of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Parsons association with former presidents like Gerald Ford and George Bush, has actively transcended to the Obama administration as an economic advisor as well as a prime nominee for the Secretary of Commerce.

Besides his entrepreneurial accolades, Richard is an avid philanthrophist who heads the Jazz Foundation of America, that supports veteran jazz and blues musicians.

6. Wally Amos

Wallace "Wally" Amos is best known for his chocolate chip cookies. But his life story is interesting with much ups and downs. Starting out in William Morris Agency's stock room, he eventually became the first black talent agent in American history with credentials of having worked with stars like Diana Ross, Simon and Garfunkel.

With considerable financial backing from established singers of the industry, Amos initiated a unique advertising campaign to launch his cookie store on the famous Sunset Boulevard in 1975. Besides his commercial endeavors, Amos is a motivational speaker, an advocate of literacy in the US and the author of scores of books like the bestseller "Watermelon Credo:The Book".

7. A.G Gaston

He's probably the most under rated name in the business fraternity.  Starting out as an undertaker in the burial insurance scene, Gaston's business repertoire was diverse that includes a business college, several radio stations, real estate and financial services. This 103-year old Black entrepreneur who passed away in 1996, represents the best of century who wanted to turn the "black power into green".

8. Oprah Winfrey

She really needs no introductions. For the present generation Oprah symbolizes the most famous  reality talk show in American history. Besides her showbiz skills, she has her own production firm that backed flicks like Precious, a satellite radio channel, The Oprah Winfrey cable Network, a publication -The Oprah Magazine as well as a renowned philanthrophist.

9. Kenneth I. Chenault

The Harvard Law graduate joined the American Express in 1981 and has continued to push for excellency in the  field of finance as its CEO. As President of the U.S  AmEx Travel Related Services , the company's progressive strategies has changed the face of financial transactions. Under his tenure, AmEx has been listed as 22nd "Most Valued Brand " in the world estimated to be US $ 14.97 billion.

10. Rosalind Brewer

Brewer created a history as the 1st Afro-American to become the CEO of Wal-Mart, in January 2012.Her appointment as chief of Sam's club-the discount membership club, marks her personal achievements in her six year stint with Wal-Mart. As the president of the East Division of the enterprise, she had record revenue collection and administrated twice the number of outlets in various locations.

We thank our readers for joining us in taking a tour of their illustrious achievements. Hope many of the forthcoming generation of entrepreneurs can learn a thing or two from these personalities.

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2 Responses to 'Top 10 Black-American Entrepreneurs'

  1. E-junkie Said,
    http://www.e-junkie.info/2013/01/top-10-black-american-entrepreneurs.html?showComment=1390665761636#c323678155068516805'> January 25, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Half these people are employees. Again Gaston should b number one

     

  2. E-junkie Said,
    http://www.e-junkie.info/2013/01/top-10-black-american-entrepreneurs.html?showComment=1390889770035#c7633853276086251623'> January 27, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    Thanks for stopping by our blog. There's no denying that Gaston should be the #1 but this list has been compiled in random order.

     

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