Black Business and Civil Rights

Black businesses’ reliance on dollars from the community meant that many business leaders felt free enough economically to take on the risks of political leadership. 

In Durham, they were among those at the center of the early years of civil rights struggle. 

Local business leaders founded an organization that registered thousands of black voters decades before the campaigns of the Civil Rights movement. They built a voting bloc that strengthened black political power in local elections. 

They knew that they could not win their freedom through business alone.

The Committee on Negro Affairs, those people who worked in the factories and people who worked in the North Carolina Mutual, were working together for the same thing. Helping to get out the vote and voting. They were working for the common good of all.

Nathaniel B. White, business owner, Service Printing Company