"Jim Crow" in the Business World: The Birth, Growth, and Disappearance of Black-Owned Insurance Companies

Many people associate “Jim Crow” racial segregation with the discriminatory treatment of African Americans in the realms of public accommodations, education and housing. However, this phenomenon also manifested itself in the realm of business. This presentation will discuss how the birth, growth and disappearance of black-owned insurance companies represents a useful case study of how “separate and unequal” operated in the business world.

Robert Weems
Robert E. Weems, Jr. 

Robert E. Weems, Jr. has been Wichita State’s Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History since 2011. Weems has published and spoken widely in the field African American business history. His publications in African American business history include five books and numerous articles and book chapters. Weems served as a historical consultant and appeared in the documentary “Boss: The Black Experience in Business,” which premiered on PBS in April 2019. In June 2021, Weems was the keynote speaker at a program sponsored by the regional banks of the Federal Reserve titled “Racism and the Economy: Focus on Entrepreneurship.”