Louisville's Rich History of Black Owned Businesses
Ask any elder in the Louisville community about Walnut Street "back in the day" and you'll likely hear the same sentiment:
IT WAS THE PLACE TO BE!
Louisville's own Walnut Street (currently known as Muhammad Ali Blvd.) was a bustling, thriving community of black-owned businesses. According to UofL Archives, "West Walnut Street from 6th to 13th Streets was a business, social, and cultural gathering place for African-Americans" dating back to the early 1800s.
The area thrived specifically between 1920s-1950s, peaking at over 150 black-owned businesses in the "Business District." Businesses included restaurants, churches, banks, boutiques, insurance companies, newspapers, barbers, salons, gas stations, doctors, lawyers, realtors, theaters, and nightclubs! While these establishments were black-owned, the customer base was always diverse, welcoming patrons from all races & ethnicities. Unfortunately, the area was negatively impacted by events like the Depression, segregation, desegregation, war, and specifically, the Urban Renewal Project.
Builds relationships by enhancing social & professional networking
Strengthens the black dollar and our economic/political presence
Celebrates our diverse culture
Helps to close racial wealth gaps
Gives back to the community that raised us
A Black-Owned business does NOT mean Black-Only business! We welcome customers & clients from ALL races, ethnicities, & backgrounds. Patronage, regardless of color, keeps our hard-earned dollars circulating within Louisville!
WHEN SMALL BUSINESSES FLOURISH, SO DO THEIR COMMUNITIES!