Reflecting & Celebrating Black Excellence 

At The Council, we are excited to welcome the month of February as it marks a month-long celebration of Black History. 

This annual observance is a time to reflect on the rich history, achievements, and contributions that African Americans have made to our nation throughout the years. This year, we want to take this opportunity to not only honor the past, but to also highlight the present and future leaders who continue to shape our diverse and dynamic society. 

Black excellence has long been rooted in American history, but it often does not receive the recognition it deserves. Every year important historical figures like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. are recognized for their contributions, but many other heroes go without their well-deserved recognition. 

Bayard Rustin helped to organize and strategize the March on Washington in August of 1963 where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his well-known, “I Have a Dream” speech. As a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Rustin dedicated much of his life to fighting humanitarian causes against injustice of all kinds.

Claudette Colvin was arrested 9 months before Rosa Parks at the age of 15. When she remained seated near the middle of the bus and refused to give up her seat to a white woman, she became the first woman to be detained for this type of resistance.  

Robert Sengstacke Abbott founded the Chicago Defender which played an integral part in encouraging African Americans to migrate from the South for better economic opportunities, known as the Great Migration. His paper also provided a platform for black voices, championed civil rights causes, and influenced many other Black publications to start up. 

Black History Month is not only about looking back; it’s also about recognizing the present achievements of the Black community. The Council is committed to highlighting the excellence, innovation, and success stories of African-American entrepreneurs, business leaders, and professionals who contribute significantly to the economic growth of our region.

Through our Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) programs and initiatives, we aim to empower black-owned businesses, providing them with opportunities, resources, and support to thrive in today’s competitive market. By fostering diversity and inclusion, we can positively contribute to a more resilient business ecosystem.

If you are looking to make new connections with certified African-American owned businesses, we’ve collated a  full list of businesses certified with the Council below. 

Black History Month is a time for reflection, celebration, and inspiration. It is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to come together in unity, recognizing the invaluable contributions of the black community. Together, we can build a future where every individual, regardless of the color of their skin, has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.


Terrence Clark