Dr Booker T. Washington, founder of the National Negro Business League, believed that solutions to the problem of racial discrimination were primarily economic, and that bringing African Americans into the middle class was the key. In 1900, he established the League “to promote the commercial and financial development of the Negro,” and headed it until his death. The League included small African American business owners, doctors, farmers, craftsmen, and other professionals. Its goal was to support economic development amongst African-American entrepreneurs as the building block for equality in America. Dr Washington felt that there was a need for African Americans to grow an economic network and allow that to be a catalyst for change and social improvement.