Heman E. Perry and Black Enterprise in Atlanta, 1908-1925

¶ A growing number of black men and women attempted to establish businesses in the Jim Crow South of the early twentieth century. These enterprises, which ranged from small shops and retail establishments to more substantial banks and insurance companies, were organized primarily to increase the economic self-sufficiency of black Americans. In this article, Professor Henderson chronicles the efforts of Heman Perry to develop a complex business organization in Atlanta. Although Perry failed to achieve all of his entrepreneurial goals or to sustain the businesses that he founded, his endeavors nevertheless had a significant impact on the city's later development as an important center of black business activity.