How A. Maceo Smith Transformed Black Dallas Businesses

Smith, Antonio Maceo (1903-1977)

The Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) began as a result of a split over Negro economic progress within the ranks of the Dallas chapter of Booker T. Washinton’s National Negro Business League (NNBL). The split culminated in 1926 with the granting of a state charter. The Chamber was determined to represent more actively the interests of local black people.

The NNBL grew out of Booker T. Washington’s interest in any project which would stimulate Negro enterprise. He envisioned the NNBL as an organization composed of successful black entrepeneurs as a means for exchanging ideas. The national organization’s work would be supplemented by local organizations in four areas. These local NNBL chapters would be concerned with the further employment of blacks, consumer protection, fostering an interest in civic welfare and creating a sense of racial pride. The League held its first formal convention in August of 1900 in Boston with over 400 black businessmen in attendance. Booker T. Washington served as the League’s president until 1915.

via Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce Register and Researchers’ Guide.

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