The National Business League

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


The National Business League
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The NBL Launches Inaugural Black Innovators Series

Collaboration with USPTO Highlights Contributions of Black Inventors for Black History Month

TUSKEGEE, AL, Thursday, February 1, 2024 — In a historic and unprecedented partnership, The National Business League (NBL) has joined forces with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to celebrate the invaluable contributions of Black innovators throughout history. The groundbreaking initiative, “Black Innovators,” is scheduled to run for the entirety of Black History Month, from February 1st to February 29th, 2024.

The NBL and USPTO’s collaboration draws inspiration from the remarkable journey of Henry E. Baker. Despite facing racial adversity in the late 19th century, Baker became a Patent Office employee with a mission to dispel the prejudiced notion that Black Americans were incapable of being inventors. Baker meticulously compiled a comprehensive list of Black inventors whose groundbreaking work has left an indelible mark on American history.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, widely regarded as “The Father of Black History,” initiated Negro History Week on February 7, 1926, a precursor to the now-celebrated Black History Month. This month-long celebration is dedicated to documenting the profound contributions of Black individuals in the United States.

The NBL/USPTO partnership aims to bridge the knowledge gap and illuminate the extraordinary achievements of Black innovators, ensuring that their historical significance is recognized and celebrated across the nation.

However, this initiative transcends mere education; it is about empowerment. The National Business League, established by Booker T. Washington in 1900, stands as the nation’s first and oldest trade association for Black businesses. As part of the Black Innovators campaign, the NBL and USPTO are not only raising awareness but also actively engaging with the Black business community.

In an era where knowledge equates to power, this collaboration serves as a beacon of hope and an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit. As we delve into the stories of Black innovators, we pay homage to their monumental legacy and pave the way for a more equitable and inclusive future. The NBL/USPTO partnership reminds us that history is not merely a sequence of events but a living testament to the indomitable spirit of Black excellence.

About The NBL:

The National Business League is the country’s foremost trade association for Black Business Enterprises (BBEs). Established by Booker T. Washington on August 23, 1900, it maintains regional offices in Atlanta, GA, Detroit, MI, Los Angeles, CA, Washington, and a national headquarters in Tuskegee, AL. Additionally, it operates an international office in Cape Town, SA. The organization serves a membership of 120,000 individuals across all 50 states and internationally.

For more information about Black Innovators 2024 and the NBL/USPTO collaboration, please visit

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