In stark contrast to popular belief, women of the African Diaspora have engaged in economic and leadership activities throughout the course of history. Black women around the world draw from a tradition of thousands of years of strategies that have enabled them to face and conquer the challenges of life as women of color. And yet today, black women are marginalized by an economic and financial community still dominated by white men. In Market Women, educator, activist, and entrepreneur Cheryl Smith sets the record straight, applying insights from a variety of fields to trace the roots of black women's entrepreneurship, as it is currently practiced in the United States. Featuring in-depth interviews with 19 present-day entrepreneurs (in ventures as diverse as catering, bookselling, millinery, and construction), Smith reveals an approach to business that is based on personal relationships, pooling of resources, a sense of humor, apprenticeship and mentoring, and strong mother-daughter bonds that defy traditional definitions of business success, wealth creation, and power. In the process she gives voice to a long-disenfranchised group whose struggles and triumphs in business illuminate universal themes that transcend race and gender. The result is a rich and unique study of business from a fresh and eye-opening perspective and an inspiring account of achieving success against tremendous odds.