From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies, professionals to businessowners, from Wall Street to community streets and local economies to national and global upheavals, TNJ was there. Here’s a sample of the stories we covered in the past 15 years:
November: Toni Morrison is the first African-American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature; Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president, wins the Nobel Prize for Peace.
October: Black brokers shift focus from Wall Street to Main Street.
December: South Africa calls for reinvestment.
May: Ron Brown, the first Black U.S. secretary of commerce and a champion for minority businesses, dies in a plane crash, leaving a big question mark over the future of minority-owned businesses.
February: Bill Deramus becomes the first African-American to own a midpriced hotel franchise when he opens a 153-room Courtyard Hotel in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
April: Kenneth I. Chenault becomes president and chief operating officer at American Express Co.; Sherry F. Bellamy is named president of Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania Inc., the first Black woman to serve in that role.
February: The Chicago Defender, a Black-owned newspaper founded in 1905, goes up for sale, as do its sister papers in Detroit, Memphis and Pittsburgh.
May: Former U.S. Budget Director Franklin Raines is named chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae, the first Black man to head a Fortune 500 company.
Don Barden, a Detroit native, opens a General Motors plant in Namibia, Africa.
The Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort becomes the first Black-owned hotel to open in Miami Beach, Fla., ending a Black-business boycott of Miami that began in 1990 after the city’s commission snubbed visiting anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela for his refusal to repudiate Fidel Castro.
August: Chicago advertising agency Burrell Communications, the largest Black-owned firm in the country, sells 49 percent of its shares to Paris-based Publicis, the world’s 10th largest
November: Lloyd Ward is appointed chairman and CEO of Maytag Corp., making him the second African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
October: The states of Washington and California abolish their affirmative action programs.
February: Ruth Simmons, Ph.D., becomes the first African-American to head an Ivy League University after she is named president of Brown University.
September: The Chisholm Mingo Group climbs to the top of the advertising world, ranking No. 4 on Advertising Agency’s top 25 with $104.6 million in billings.
May: Janine and Tom Fondon launch Unityfirst.com, a wire service for news targeting African-American, Latino, African, Caribbean and Native American media.
E. Stanley O’Neal becomes chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch.
May: Comptroller William Thompson, New York City’s first Black chief financial officer, wages war on the city’s debtors.
December: Bruce S. Gordon, president of Verizon’s Retail Markets unit, grants TNJ an exclusive interview.
November: How Edison O. Jackson turned around ailing Medgar Evers College, the youngest of the City University of New York’s four-year colleges.
November: Headed by Louis E. Prezeau, City National Bank, along
with other Black-owned and
operated financial institutions, may well be the saving grace of small, minority businesses.
November: Randal Pinkett, Kwame Jackson and Stacie “J” Jones
symbolize a new breed of Black entrepreneurs.
Harlem’s small businesses struggle to stay afloat, as big chain retailers change the face of the historic community.
September: Corporations shift on “success.” They now hold the view that success depends largely on managing the talent of their work force.
October: Wall Street roils under the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.
May: The phenomenon of Barack Obama, the Democratic Party’s candidate for president.
July/August: David Paterson becomes the first African-American governor of New York.
September: Power shifts: China, the WTO and Russia.