Legitimacy, in a generally operative sense, suggests that a new organization or venture “belongs”, or fits within the social construct of its time period. To be legitimate, an organization must be accepted by the majority of evaluators within its social sphere. Historically and to the present day, Black businesses have had to work harder to earn this legitimacy. Du Bois said “Naturally business, of all vocations, was furthest removed from slavery”. [1] Black businesses had to prove themselves, not only to the majority community but to the Black community as well. Dr. Hollingsworth will discuss numerous ways Black businesses worked to accomplish this using historical examples and in the present day.

[1] Du Bois, W.E.B. (1899), “The Negro In Business: report of a social study made under the direction of Atlanta University; together with the proceedings of the fourth Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems, held at Atlanta University, May 30-31, 1899”, Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems, May 30-31, 1899, Atlanta, GA

Attendees are invited to gather for an on-screen conversation taking place directly after the talk.

Watch the discussion on YouTube [58:21]

Watch more Keller videos on YouTube

Speaker Bio

Dr. Keith Hollingsworth is a Professor of Business Administration at Morehouse College, where he has served since 1994.  Recently, Hollingsworth served as the Coordinator of SACSCOC Reaffirmation for the College, where he oversaw the campus-wide effort to pass this two-year process occurring every decade. He also served as Chair of the Business Administration department from 2007 – 2018, including formally leading the 2017 AACSB accreditation reaffirmation effort. Hollingsworth currently co-chairs the Committee for Curriculum and Educational Policy. His classes include Data Analytics & Modeling and Black Entrepreneurial History in the US.

In 2003, Hollingsworth was the recipient of the Vulcan Materials Teaching Excellence Award for Morehouse College and the Maroon Tiger, the school newspaper, has selected him among the Educators of the Year four times (2004, 2007, 2011, 2012). He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990, 1992, and 1995 respectively. His initial research was in productivity analysis, especially data envelopment analysis, but he has shifted into the areas of business leadership and business history. Dr. Hollingsworth has published in Accounting Historians Journal and the Journal of Management History. His paper in Accounting Historians Journal recovered the identity of one of the South’s first Black CPAs (and Morehouse College’s first alumnus with a CPA). Hollingsworth is a native of southern Georgia and a first-generation college graduate. He currently attends and is active at All Saints Episcopal Church.

More about the History and Legacy of Black Entrepreneurship in the United States lectures and workshops

Who can attend?

Open to the public and the campus community.

Registration is required.