The National Business League

Founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington – August 23, 1900

About Black Innovators

In an unprecedented collaboration, The National Business League (NBL) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have joined forces to illuminate the invaluable contributions of Black innovators throughout history. This groundbreaking initiative comes to life during Black History Month, with a 29-day campaign aptly named “Black Innovators.”

One cannot embark on a journey to recognize Black inventors without acknowledging the pioneering spirit of Henry E. Baker. Born in the crucible of racial adversity in Lowndes County, Mississippi, in 1857, Baker defied the odds to become a Patent Office employee around 1877. His mission: to vehemently debunk the prejudiced notion that Black-Americans were incapable of being inventors. In the face of bigotry, Baker meticulously compiled a comprehensive list of Black inventors who had left their indelible mark on the rich tapestry of American history.

Fast forward to February 7, 1926, and the visionary Dr. Carter G. Woodson, now recognized as “The Father of Black History,” took the first step towards what we now know as Black History Month. He initiated Negro History Week, a precursor that ultimately evolved into a month-long celebration dedicated to meticulously documenting the profound and often unsung contributions of Black people in the United States.

It is an unfortunate reality that many Americans remain unaware of the historical significance of these contributions. This is precisely where the NBL/USPTO partnership steps in, embarking on a mission to bridge this knowledge gap and shine an even brighter spotlight on the extraordinary achievements of Black innovators.

However, this initiative isn’t solely about education; it’s about empowerment. The National Business League, founded by the legendary and iconic Booker T. Washington on August 23, 1900, proudly stands as the nation’s first and oldest trade association for Black businesses. As we navigate through this Black Innovators campaign, the NBL and USPTO are not only raising awareness but also actively forging connections within the Black business community.

In an era where knowledge is power, this collaboration serves as a beacon of hope and an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit. As we delve deep into the stories of Black innovators, we not only honor their monumental legacy but also pave the way for a more equitable and inclusive future. The NBL/USPTO collaborative partnership stands as a powerful reminder that history is not merely a series of events but a living, breathing testament to the indomitable spirit of Black excellence.