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June 26, 1909
On June 26, 1909, the Baltimore Afro-American reported that the Mississippi Negro Business League was holding their fifth annual session in Okolona, Mississippi. “Extensive preparations are being made to entertain the more than three hundred delegates expected,” the Afro-American reported. “The program as arranged embraces almost every phase of business, including farming, oil industry, insurance and fraternal organizations, and the doctor and the lawyer.” The group was led by Charles Banks who founded the Mound Bayou Bank and Mound Bayou Cotton Oil Mill in Mississippi. Booker T.Washington called Banks “the most influential Negro businessman in the United States.”
To learn more about Charles Banks, see A Chief Lieutenant of the Tuskegee Machine: Charles Banks of Mississippi by David Jackson, Jr.