Booker T. Washington formed the National Negro Business League (NNBL) in Boston, Massachusetts. Washington saw the league as an opportunity to improve race relations among Blacks and whites by creating commercial and financial development among newly-freed slaves. "At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion itself there must be for our race, as for all races an economic foundation, economic prosperity, economic independence," Washington said of the organization's mission. By creating self-sustaining business of their own, he believed African-Americans could attain equality with whites faster than by focusing on winning political and civil rights alone. The NNBL operated chapters throughout the country, with most based in the South.
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