On October 6, the Carolina Panorama honored the rich legacy of Columbia’s “Black Wall Street” at the Black Business Gala, held at the Columbia Convention Center. —
Located along the Washington Street corridor west of Main Street, these areas historically served as the center of Black life. It was a safe area where nearly all of the businesses were owned and operated by African-Americans. The “Black Wall Street” term was coined in the post-civil-rights era, as African-Americans looked back on the thriving business districts that existed before integration. Following integration, many of the businesses closed or moved from the area. This event was intended to focus on their cultural and historical significance.
The companies honored were: Angeline’s Beauty & Wig Salon, Blue Palace Barbershop, Capital City Real Estate & Insurance, Counts Drug Store, Elise Beauty Salon, Jack’s Lunch, Joe’s Barber Shop, Koon’s Tea Room, Nell’s Moon Glow Cafe, Owen & Paul Tailoring, Pearson’s Funeral Home, Richardson Cleaners, Robinson Enterprises, SC Voter Education Project, T.H. Pinckney Undertaker Company, Stroy’s Barber Shop, and We Three Beauty Shop. Also being honored are the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Agency and Victory Savings Bank, which also had their initial offices in the Black Business District.
Keynote speaker for the event was Herbert L. Drayton, III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertical Holdings, LLC. He oversees the strategic direction of the Charleston- and Memphis-based portfolio of software and service companies.
Drayton said of his involvement, “It was an honor for me to be invited as keynote speaker of this event. The impact of these African-American businesses on the Columbia community cannot be underestimated. They existed and flourished before the Civil Rights movement to serve the needs of the vibrant and growing Black population, which, at the time, was very underserved. For those contributions, these pioneers of “Black Wall Street” will be forever remembered.”
About Vertical Holdings, LLC:
Located in Charleston, SC, the Vertical Holdings company assists established companies by optimizing management processes, improving personnel and driving performance through leveraging talent and best-in-class technology. The company portfolio currently includes more than 10,000 clients across the United States. Core business operations include medicine, software development, technical training, web design, B2B SaaS platforms and IT consulting services. Visit www.verticalholdings.net to learn more.
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