Black-owned Businesses

Henderson County’s Black middle class, through diligent efforts, made an independent living through their own enterprises and stand out for their entrepreneurial spirit and hard work. Most often Black-run businesses at the turn of the century had to make a choice of focusing their trade either on the Black community or the White. During the time of racial segregation, some Black-owned businesses catered exclusively to the needs of other Blacks, like boarding houses, cafes, barber and beauty shops and funeral homes. Others chose to go into a business that relied primarily on Whites, like some cafes that fed only a white clientele, the cleaning and pressing business, or landscaping.

The contributions that these Black business people made to the life of Henderson County is immeasurable, for without the work these people accomplished, some of the beauty, rich texture and overall progress of the county would have been greatly diminished as they paved the way for others who followed.

From A Brief History of the Black Presence in Henderson County by Gary Franklin Greene