The League included small African American business owners, doctors, farmers, craftsmen, and other professionals. Its goal was to allow business to put economic development at the forefront of getting African-American equality in America. Booker T. Washington proposed that there was a need for African Americans to build an economic network and allow that to be a catalyst for change and social improvement. The League promoted the commercial endeavors and economic advancement of African Americans mainly, but not solely in the South, via a network of state and local Negro Business Leagues, and affiliated professional and trade organizations. Membership in the League was open to "any member of the race in good standing in his or her community," whether the person was in business, professional or private life. Meetings provided a forum in which African-American small businessmen shared stories of their struggles and successes.
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