National Business League President and CEO Ken Harris continues Booker T. Washington’s vision to uplift Black professionals

National Business League President and CEO Ken Harris continues Booker T. Washington's vision to uplift Black professionals
Photo courtesy of Kenneth Harris

Kenneth Harris is the president and CEO of the National Business League. The organization is the largest and the first association for Black professionals and was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900. Harris is continuing Washington’s legacy by applying historic African principles with a no-nonsense determination to secure economic freedom for Black and Brown communities.

For those who don’t know of the legacy, what is the purpose of the organization?


We stand on the shoulders of giants. When I think about the National Negro Business League, which was founded 122 years ago by the iconic and legendary Booker T. Washington — who was really a voice beyond his years — Booker T’s message is more relevant today than it was 122 years ago. When you think of someone who was not only born on the plantation, understood what it would take for Black people to progress in this system, that we see still prevalent today, to create an organization founded on the promotion of commerce activity, and the promotion of Black business success in the early 1900s. You had to be revolutionary during those times. I’m carrying on the legacy of that individual who really stood out front. And I don’t even really have to reinvent the wheel, I just put some Armor All on these old tires.

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