Welcome to our Black History Month Special brought to you by Fidelity and Nationwide. Our dynamic, expansive content package features:

• Exclusive video archives of Black CEOs Who Transformed Corporate America
• 28 Days: Celebrating Black Business Icons Past & Present
• How Lamar and Ronnie Tyler Create “New Black History” Using Entrepreneurship To Close the Wealth Gap
• BE Timeline: 12 Milestones in Black History You Should Know






The first issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE, the bible of Black business, is published. BE would serve as our media company of record, chronicling and covering business, corporate and financial milestones in African Americans’ pursuit of advancement and empowerment.


Johnson Products Co., the largest Black haircare manufacturer that created Afro Sheen and Ultra Sheen, became the first Black-owned company publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange. Johnson Products would also serve as a model for economic self-sufficiency as a sponsor of the Black, syndicated television program Soul Train.


Daniels & Bell became the first Black-owned investment banking firm to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. This NYSE member firm would eventually grow to become one of the largest Black-owned financial firms in the nation, and its founder, Travers Bell, would eventually extend his myriad of holdings to BE 100s firm Cocoline Chocolate Co.


Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson establishes first Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program, which sets aside a percentage of government contracts for minority businesses. Creating a legion of Black millionaires, his policies are replicated by big-city mayors across the nation.


Appointed as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Jimmy Carter, Patricia Roberts Harris was the first Black woman to serve on a presidential cabinet. This trailblazer who broke barriers in government, education, law, and corporate America would also serve as one of the administration’s high-ranking officials when she was named the Carter administration’s US Secretary of Health and Human Services in 1979.


Rev. Jesse Jackson becomes the first African American to make a serious bid for the US presidency. His impressive showing enabled him to make an even more spectacular run in 1988 and pave the way for other Blacks to reach the highest echelons of public office.


Reginald Lewis’ TLC Group acquires Beatrice International Foods in a $985 million leveraged buyout, the era’s largest offshore transaction that created the first Black-owned business to surpass the billion-dollar revenue threshold. Lewis became the model for generations of Black executives and entrepreneurs seeking to succeed on Wall Street—the financial arena that excluded Black participation for centuries


Clifton Wharton, Jr. becomes the first Black CEO of one of the nation’s largest publicly traded corporations when he is appointed to the helm of TIAA-CREF, which managed the world’s largest pension funds. His milestone achievement paved the way for more than 30 Black executives to reach that corporate milestone within a 35-year span.


Led by visionary entrepreneur Bob Johnson, BET Holdings, the parent company of Black Entertainment Television, goes public and becomes the first company controlled by African Americans on the New York Stock Exchange. After taking BET private, Johnson sold the cable network to media giant Viacom for $3 billion in 2001 and become America’s first Black billionaire.


Ursula Burns is named CEO of Xerox Corp., becoming the first African American woman to head one of the nation’s largest 500 corporations. An exemplar of global leadership, she broke the glass ceiling that has long eluded African American women. Today, Roz Brewer of Walgreens Boots Alliance and Thasunda Duckett of TIAA represent Black women at the helm of the largest publicly traded companies in the country.


Barack Obama is sworn into office as the first Black president of the United States of America. As the first African American to achieve the pinnacle of presidential power, he demonstrated unprecedented global leadership which included resurrecting the American economy – and those around the world — from one of the most financially devasting periods in history. BLACK ENTERPRISE was the first national magazine to interview President Obama after his inauguration.


Kamala Harris became the first Black woman to be elected vice president of the United States —the second in line for presidential succession and the highest-ranking female official in US history. Her ascension demonstrated the growing political power of Black women in US history by pushing Biden to put her on the ticket and paving the way for Black women to ascend to groundbreaking positions at the highest levels of government, including the appointment of Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve and Kentanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.


As founders of Tyler New Media and Traffic Sales and Profit (TSP), the two-time Inc. 5000 power couple Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are change agents who are breaking chains by educating Black entrepreneurs on how to create well-engineered systems and strategies to increase their profits and build their burgeoning brands.