Beyond the Rhetoric: 25 Years and Going Strong, Part I

Harry C. Alford | 2/13/2018, 10:19 a.m.
Starting and running a Black business association during the early 1990’s was more than a dream or a challenge. It ...
Harry C. Alford

As a national organization, we began with 14 local Black chambers in our fledgling federation. It all started off with a positive effort and continuity by all regardless of where they were located within our nation. Soon jealously and envy started to set in and mini-rebellions would start taking place by two factions. Chambers in Texas and in California would start to challenge our leadership and direction. An organization of “one” soon became a “three pronged” entity going in circles. Washington, DC started to receive bad vibrations from the West Coast and the state of Texas. We would eventually tell the California chapters to “get lost” with the exception of the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce. Also, the various Texas chapters became adversarial and still are with few exceptions. We do just fine without them. Our missions are quite different. We are worldly, and growth driven while they are provincial and reclusive.

Another organization would become contentious with the NBCC. That would be the National Minority Supplier Development Council. We never considered them competition but, for some reason, they feared us and in the beginning stages of our growth they would try to confront our mission. We have grown immensely during the past 25 years. They seem to be in a state of “mission creep” and are fluttering. We have no time to stop and fight. We continue to enjoy our growth around the world and nothing is going to stop us now.

There is no doubt. We are the largest Black business association in the world. The future is quite bright!

Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: Email: