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4 Black Business Legends Who Paved The Way For The Rest Of Us | 159

4 Black Business Legends Who Paved The Way For The Rest Of Us | 159

Every Black History Month we celebrate our Black athletes, civil rights leaders and artists. But too often we overlook our legacy as Black entrepreneurs, business owners and executives, despite having just as deep a legacy in those areas.

Today, Alfred Edmond Jr. returns to Trailblazers.FM for his third feature and second of what we hope to be an annual episode of Alfred sharing stories of our Black business legends.

Alfred is the Senior Vice President and Executive Editor-at-Large of Black Enterprise.

Some time ago, Alfred brought it to my attention that there's often very little conversation about black legacy in business. That fueled my invitation to him to join me on episode 107 for our first Black business legends episode. That episode has gone on to become one of our most downloaded episodes ever on this podcast.

Here are a few of the people who’ve had an impact on the Black community and Black business, and in many cases changed American business in many ways:

  • Berry Gordy
  • Tom Burrell
  • Comer Cottrell
  • Cathy Hughes

My ask today is that you’d share this episode with your family, friends and others in the Black community. If you're posting to social, please use the hashtags #blackbusinesslegend and #missionfuel Let’s be reminded of those who paved a path for us. It’s on us to keep these business legends top of mind and ensure they are never forgotten.


  • Every Black History month we celebrate athletes, civil rights leaders and artists, and they all should be celebrated. But too often we overlook our legacy as entrepreneurs, business owners and executives. We have just as deep a legacy in those areas.
  • Berry Gordy is an icon, not just of Black history but American business and American industry  from fashion to music to film. He founded Motown in 1959. He was the prototype for the likes of Russell Simmons, P. Diddy and other industry recording artists who also expanded in film, fashion and other areas. He’s a living iconic legend.
  • In the world of advertising, we dont always recognize the force that Black-owned ad agencies were in terms of driving Black media, Black business creation and Black imagery and messaging.  Tom Burrell founded his advertising agency in 1971, and built it into one of the most influential ad agencies in general, and one of the number one Black ad agencies.  He’s in the advertising hall of fame and authored the book, “Brainwashed” — a deep study in how advertising messages have shaped the perception of Black Americans for good and for bad.
  • Comer Cottrell founded Proline Corp in 1970 and made his first million in sales 3 years later.  He was one of the first companies to take the jerry curl out of salons and create a kit that people could use at home by themselves.
  • My success doesnt mean much if I’m not using it to leverage broader success in the community as a whole. #BlackExcellence #BlackBizLegend
  • Cathy Hughes was the founder of RadioOne.  She pioneered The Quiet Storm” format on Howard University’s radio station that we now accept as a mainstream element of urban radio.  She built her business from the ground up.  In her own words, “I just kept going until I heard yes!”
  • Black History Month is not just for Black people! These icons are Black history figures because of their impact as representatives of the Black community but also far beyond to other cultures.
  • These trailblazers not only changed how business is done by Black people but how business is done by America.
  • The idea of targeted marketing by segments was pioneered by John Johnson and subsequently Earl Graves, Ed Lewis, Tom Burrell and the Black ad agencies that said, “Black people are not just brown-skinned white people.” 
  • Im not starting from scratch. I’m building something from a blueprint, a pattern, that I can adapt to innovate to make my contribution.


The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.



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Jay Morrison: Give The Gift of Legacy | 157

Jay Morrison: Give The Gift of Legacy | 157

Learn key strategies to building wealth and legacy despite an individual's starting point.

Our featured trailblazer today is Jay Morrison.

A successful entrepreneur and business mogul, Jay Morrison is the CEO and founder of several organizations including the historic Tulsa Real Estate Fund, and the Jay Morrison Academy, which was featured on Inc.’s 2018 List of Fastest Growing Companies. Beating the odds after growing up in poverty, dropping out of high school and serving time in prison for drug trafficking, Jay was able to turn his life around by breaking into real estate and becoming one of the industry’s biggest influencers.

Jay is truly on a lifelong mission to bridge the wealth gap and provide accessible education and business opportunities to those who need it most.

I need your help right now to share this episode. Someone you know needs to hear today's message.


Dr. Mildred Peyton’s Journey As A Bullying Expert | 151

Dr. Mildred Peyton’s Journey As A Bullying Expert | 151

Dr. Mildred Peyton is a bullying survivor, expert, and a children’s author of two books, A Bully on the School Bus and Sophia Writes To Her Bully. Despite having a Ph.D. in Human and Social Services (with a concentration in Social Policy Analysis & Planning), a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and Sociology and a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology, she still experienced bullying firsthand both on the job and in her role as a mother trying to protect her children.

As an expert on bullying, she speaks from her heart and real-world experience. She knows the denial, pain, frustration, embarrassment, guilt, and sometimes even downright rage that consumes you when you or someone you love is being taken advantage of. Dr. Peyton guides her clients as a consultant and trainer through the process of joining her on the other side of establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and school environment to ensure greater success for all. Also included in her work, she provides one-on-one guidance to parents, students, and employees who are experiencing bullying and harassment.

Lastly, Dr. Peyton's doctoral research study entitled, Exploring the Meaning of School Bullying Among Parents of Victimized Children, along with hands-on educational training in facilitating focus groups and mentoring programs for students experiencing bullying and harassment are among some of her work which has demonstrated her commitment to cultivating safer schools and helping students. As for workplaces, Dr. Peyton's personal experience working in a toxic work environment inspired her to support and work with employers in creating and maintaining healthy workplace atmospheres where all employees will feel valued and respected.


Black Men and Boys Matter | 143

Black Men and Boys Matter | 143

BLACK MEN AND BOYS MATTER. They are assets to our communities and our country. As a nation, we cannot truly prosper when any group of people is excluded and forced to exist on the fringes of society. The well-being of Black men and boys has a direct influence on the strength of our families, communities and our nation as a whole.

2018 MARKS THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA).

Launched in 2008 as a three-year initiative at the Open Society Foundations, CBMA became independent in 2015, stretching the initiative’s original three-year term limit into a decade of accelerating investments in Black men and boys to unprecedented levels.

To build beloved communities across America, where Black men and boys are healthy, thriving and enabled to achieve their fullest potential — this is CBMA’s core mission and rallying cry. There is much to acknowledge in the organization’s decade-long efforts to generate more than $320 million in investment for Black men and boys, while sparking the tremendous growth of an entire field dedicated to Black male achievement to support improved life outcomes for all young men of color.