Stories We Covered


From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies, professionals to businessowners, from Wall Street to community streets and local economies to national and global upheavals, TNJ was there. Here’s a sample of the stories we covered in the past 15 years:


November: Toni Morrison is the first African-American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature; Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president, wins the Nobel Prize for Peace.

October: Black brokers shift focus from Wall Street to Main Street.

December: South Africa calls for reinvestment.

May: Ron Brown, the first Black U.S. secretary of commerce and a champion for minority businesses, dies in a plane crash, leaving a big question mark over the future of minority-owned businesses.

February: Bill Deramus becomes the first African-American to own a midpriced hotel franchise when he opens a 153-room Courtyard Hotel in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
April: Kenneth I. Chenault becomes president and chief operating officer at American Express Co.; Sherry F. Bellamy is named president of Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania Inc., the first Black woman to serve in that role.

February: The Chicago Defender, a Black-owned newspaper founded in 1905, goes up for sale, as do its sister papers in Detroit, Memphis and Pittsburgh.
May: Former U.S. Budget Director Franklin Raines is named chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae, the first Black man to head a Fortune 500 company.
Don Barden, a Detroit native, opens a General Motors plant in Namibia, Africa.
The Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort becomes the first Black-owned hotel to open in Miami Beach, Fla., ending a Black-business boycott of Miami that began in 1990 after the city’s commission snubbed visiting anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela for his refusal to repudiate Fidel Castro.

August: Chicago advertising agency Burrell Communications, the largest Black-owned firm in the country, sells 49 percent of its shares to Paris-based Publicis, the world’s 10th largest
communications corporation. 
November: Lloyd Ward is appointed chairman and CEO of Maytag Corp., making him the second African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

October: The states of Washington and California abolish their affirmative action programs.

February: Ruth Simmons, Ph.D., becomes the first African-American to head an Ivy League University after she is named president of Brown University. 
September: The Chisholm Mingo Group climbs to the top of the advertising world, ranking No. 4 on Advertising Agency’s top 25 with $104.6 million in billings.

May: Janine and Tom Fondon launch, a wire service for news targeting African-American, Latino, African, Caribbean and Native American media.

E. Stanley O’Neal becomes chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch. 
May: Comptroller William Thompson, New York City’s first Black chief financial officer, wages war on the city’s debtors.
December: Bruce S. Gordon, president of Verizon’s Retail Markets unit, grants TNJ an exclusive interview.

November: How Edison O. Jackson turned around ailing Medgar Evers College, the youngest of the City University of New York’s four-year colleges.

November: Headed by Louis E. Prezeau, City National Bank, along
with other Black-owned and
operated financial institutions, may well be the saving grace of small, minority businesses.

November: Randal Pinkett, Kwame Jackson and Stacie “J” Jones
symbolize a new breed of Black entrepreneurs.
Harlem’s small businesses struggle to stay afloat, as big chain retailers change the face of the historic community.

September: Corporations shift on “success.” They now hold the view that success depends largely on managing the talent of their work force.
October: Wall Street roils under the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.


May: The phenomenon of Barack Obama, the Democratic Party’s candidate for president.
July/August: David Paterson becomes the first African-American governor of New York. 
September:  Power shifts: China, the WTO and Russia.