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Black/African American History Month: FCPS BAAHM Resources

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Earl G. Graves, Sr.

The ultimate champion of Black business, this incredible publisher, philanthropist, and entrepreneur founded Black Enterprise, a magazine devoted to economic development in the Black /African American community. The publication, created in 1970, was committed to inspiring and educating its readers. Graves said his idea was to help his community achieve the American dream through successful business operations. As an author, he wrote the bestseller, How to Succeed in Business Without Being White.

Graves’ business acumen led him to serve on the boards of some major companies such as Chrysler, Macy’s and American Airlines. He wanted such big corporations to increase their business dealings with Black-owned companies. His son, Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. carries on his father’s legacy as the current president and CEO of Black Enterprise magazine. His legacy also lives on as an esteemed alumnus of Morgan State University.

Governor Wes Moore

Maryland’s first African American governor, Wes Moore, was born in Takoma Park, Maryland in 1978. He’s a graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy and College, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He later earned a degree in international relations and economics from Johns Hopkins University, where he became the first African American Rhodes Scholar in the history of the college.

Moore is a man of many talents. He launched BridgeEdU, a Baltimore-based business to support underserved freshman students in reaching their goals. His company was acquired in 2018 by a platform called Edquity. Moore led soldiers in combat in Afghanistan and wrote several books including the New York Times bestseller The Other Wes Moore. He also served four years as CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, which distributed $600 million to Marylanders in poverty.

Theresa Harrison

A tech guru, Harrison is the founder and president of George Street Services, a cyber security partner of government and private entities. A successful entrepreneur, Harrison co-owned another tech firm that was ranked seventh on the Greater Washington Technology Fast 50 list. Closer to home, she is on the Board of Trustees of Hood College. Harrison also holds membership in The BOW Collective, the Frederick County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is of service to many organizations.

Harrison is a motivational speaker and author, penning the bestseller, Yes, You ARE Able. Harrison also mentors small business leaders, helping them launch and sustain successful companies through her Kaleidoscope incubator program. She lives by the mantra, “Achieving the Seemingly Unachievable,” and uses it to guide both her business and personal lives.

Madam C. J. Walker

This amazing entrepreneur is the first female, self-made millionaire in the United States. Born in Louisiana in 1867, Walker was the first child in her family who was not born into slavery. In her late 30’s, she moved to St. Louis, Missouri and began working in the hair-care industry. By 1905 she had developed “Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower.” In 1908 she opened the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company which was a factory and beauty school. Here she taught the “Walker Method” of hair care featuring products and techniques geared toward Black/African American women.

With the help of her nearly 25,000 well trained sales agents, the business instantly soared and posted annual earnings topping $500,000. Walker also dabbled in real estate and owned palatial properties in New York. Walker died at the age of 51 after amassing a wealth of well over $1 million.

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