In this article we are going to list the top 20 biggest black owned companies in the US. Click to skip ahead and jump to the top 10 biggest black owned companies in the US. Any time blacks in the United States throughout history have tried to establish themselves, they’ve been stopped by white supremacists. Even after slavery was abolished well over a century ago, black people were treated disdainfully and were considered to be inferior by white folk, who also held all the power. This is why racism wasn’t just institutionalized, it was a national past time and this is why lynching continued to be used to suppress black people through the mid and even later 20th century. When towards the end of the 19th century, black people in the country had finally started to put slavery behind them and finally begun to make something of themselves and their lives, the Wilmington insurrection of 1898 took place, where the elected leadership was forced to resign and power was handed over to white supremacists, who lay waste to the businesses and massacred black folk without a minute’s thought.
Again, this is just one instance. An even more serious one would be the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921 which is said to be the worst racial attack in the history of the United States. White men attacked what was known at the time as Black Wall Street, the most affluent black community in the country from land and even from air through private aircraft, destroying at least 35 blocks and killing hundreds of Africa Americans, which was subsequently shamelessly covered up by the government and no reparations were made until 1996, when a committee was formed to investigate the incident and mass graves were uncovered to counter claims of the government that only 36 people had died, of which only 26 were black. And all this despite the fact that the US is second among the countries outside Africa with the highest Black population.
The need to support the black community may have only recently become mainstream discussion, but social entrepreneur Mandy Bowman, a Brooklyn native, has been working to reduce this disparity since 2014. Mandy Bowman is a Social Entrepreneur and Social Media Strategist who serves as the Founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street, a platform that speaks out to support black businesses around the world. Launched in 2015 with an application in 2017, Official Black Wall Street sets out to empower the Black community through economics and ownership. Mandy has been a frontrunner of the #BuyBlack movement, aiming to help give black businesses the exposure they need.
The past year has been tough for almost everyone on the planet. For the black community, the past year has been especially difficult, with 26% of black owned business having to shut down between the first few months of 2020. This is more than double that of white owned businesses. This is why there is a strong need to support black-owned businesses and fight back against the institutionalized racism spread across the country even in 2021. This is why one of such initiatives is Google separately showing businesses which are black-owned, as a show of support.
What makes a company or business black-owned? According to the National Minority Supplier Development Council or NMSDC, a minority business enterprise is defined as a “business [that] is at least 51% owned by [United States citizens who are Asian, Black, Hispanic, and/or Native American] or, in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals.” To put it simply, a black owned company is one which is managed and operated by black or African American owners and shareholders. NMSDC further distinguishes a black owned business as one where the owner is a US citizen of African descent. The list is referenced from Black Enterprise Top 100 List, so let’s take a look at the people leading the black business charge, starting with number 20:
20. Salamander Hotels & Resorts
Revenues: $220 Million
CEO: Sheila C. Johnson
Owned by Sheila Johnson, cofounder of Black Entertainment Television, Salamander Hotels and Resorts is a 168-room luxury hotel, resort, and spa located in the Virginia countryside. The hotel is built on a 340 acre property and boasts a 230,000 square foot spa with many outdoor activities such as hiking, zip-lining, and horseback riding. The resort took ten years to build, finally opening in August 2013.