In his 1997 Earl Graves Sr., Founder of Black Enterprise, wrote a book, “How to Succeed in Business Without Being White.” Graves wanted to empower Black entrepreneurs and naturally, Black people. We Buy Black is committed to empowering Black entrepreneurs by educating Black consumers to support their own. The foundation, however, is empowered Black entrepreneurs and that legacy is uniquely one owned by Earl Graves Sr.
Graves launched Black Enterprise in 1970. He hoped to give exposure to Black businesses and business coaching. At that time, it was far from normal for Black people to be featured in media for their business prowess. Graves was literally reprogramming the world to view Black people differently. He was also conditioning Black audiences to crave a different knowledge, information towards building generational wealth. Graves was a pioneer and legend, in many ways. He was a proud HBCU man, a graduate of Morgan State University. Graves was an Army veteran and served as the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s administrative assistant. His greatest achievements, however, were much closer to home.
Graves was a native of the Bedford Stuyvesant section of New York. He rose to create the definitive resource for Black professionals and policymakers alike, in the form of Black Enterprise. Black Enterprise, however, was published by the Earl G. Graves Publishing Company, under the umbrella of Earl G. Graves, Ltd. Earl Graves was a walking billboard for Black power. He was also a bold image of Black family: he was married for 37 years to his wife Barbara, with whom he had three sons.
Black Enterprise lives on, now under the leadership of CEO (and son of Earl Graves Sr.) Earl Graves Jr., as does the legacy of Earl Graves.Earl Graves was also CEO and owner of Pepsi-Cola of Washington D.C., the largest minority-controlled Pepsi franchise in the United States at the time. Graves advised the powerful and cared for the needy. Earl Graves Sr. was many things to many people, especially Black people. One thing is for sure: We Buy Black stands on his shoulders.