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PRESS RELEASE - NSBCPA BOOT CAMP TO INCREASE BLACK CPAS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC – The National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants, Inc. (NSBCPA) is launching a first of its kind Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam Bootcamp Program for Black Accounting Students.

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BLACK CPA #10 - CHARLES A. BECKETT, CPA

Charles A. Beckett, CPA licensed in 1941 was one of the first African American certified public accountants in Illinois. He was also a community activist who helped found Paul G. Stewart Housing Development; which was named after his friend Paul G. Stewart, CPA.

After receiving his CPA he often stated that it was hell, because there really was no place for black accountants to practice; therefore, he started his own firm, Charles A. Beckett & Co. One of his major clients was Johnson Publishing.

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BLACK CPA #9 - THEODORE A. JONES, CPA

Theodore A. Jones was the 9th Black CPA licensed in 1940 and hailed from the State of Illinois by way of Colorado. He attended the University of Illinois, where he studied accounting and economics. His professors ignored him; therefore, he pretended to be asleep one day, and the professor called on him. Theodore answered the question correctly and, from that day forward, was recognized by his professors. Though people stated he could not succeed because of his color, he proved them wrong and noted as a man ahead of his time.

 He served as executive vice president of Supreme Life Insurance Company and the president of the National Insurance Association, representing 48 black-owned and operated insurance companies.

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BLACK CPA #8 - ALFRED W. TUCKER, CPA

In 1938, Alfred W. Tucker was the 8th #BlackCPA and the 2nd to be licensed in the State of New York. Mr. Tucker was a graduate of Columbia University and a charter member of the Omicron Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He founded the firm Lucas (Major Wilmer Lucas, CPA) and Tucker which was the first Black Certified Public Accountant firm in the State of New York.

In addition to conducting a business, he held positions of Accountant and Field Auditor at the New York State Transit Commission.

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BLACK CPA #7 - LOUIS RAWLINGS, CPA

Louis Rawlings, CPA, the 7th Black CPA hailed from Illinois making him the 3rd Black CPA licensed in the state in 1937.

Little has been printed about Mr. Rawlings, but knowing that he is one of the first 100 Black CPAs speaks volumes.

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BLACK CPA #6 - PAUL G. STEWART, CPA

In 1937, Paul G. Stewart was the 2nd licensed Black CPA in the State of Illinois, which makes him the 6th Black CPA.

Mr. Stewart was the organizer of Chicago’s Peoples Consumer Co-Operative in 1937. Paul G. Stewart died shortly after becoming a CPA. The Paul G. Stewart Twin Towers a 550-apartment housing complex for senior citizens was built and named in his honor.

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BLACK CPA #5 - WILMER F. LUCAS, CPA

No one could have imagined that in 1922 the fifth Black Certified Public Accountant would hail from NYU, one of the two top business schools, but as many of the first Black CPAs General Wilmer F. Lucas, CPA was above average!

In 1929, Mr. Lucas became the first African American Certified Public Accountant in New York. The State of New York required experience of working under a CPA. Mr. Lucas gained experience by working for Daniel Levy & Company, a Jewish firm. In 1938, Wilmer F. Lucas, CPA, and Alfred Tucker, CPA, formed Lucas, Tucker & Co. Their accounting firm provided the required experience for more than 25 percent of all the Black CPAs who have obtained their licenses in New York.

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BLACK CPA #4 - JESSE B. BLAYTON, SR, CPA

Jesse B. Blayton, Sr, CPA graduated from Langston University and served in the US Army in World War I. Mr. Blayton passed the Georgia accounting examination in 1928, becoming the state's first black Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and only the fourth African American nationwide to hold the certification. 

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BLACK CPA #3 - CHAUNCEY LEWIS CHRISTIAN, CPA

Imagine sitting in a room of 49 white men and you are a black man that is trying to fulfill your dream to become a Certified Public Accountant.

Chauncey Lewis Christian, CPA

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BLACK CPA #2 - ARTHUR J. WILSON, CPA

Who is this gentleman? I am glad you asked.

This is a photo of Arthur J. Wilson. Mr. Wilson was the 2nd Black Certified Public Accountant. He was licensed in 1923 in the State of Illinois before the state required an apprenticeship to become a CPA. Arthur J. Wilson, CPA provided experience to others and by 1945 half of the Black CPAs in the country worked in Chicago.

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BLACK CPA #1 - JOHN W. CROMWELL JR, CPA

John W. Cromwell Jr., the first Black Certified Public Accountant, graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and earned a master’s degree but chose to teach high school math because of limited practice opportunities.

Early on it was difficult to get a CPA license due to the inability to get the experience requirement. Then New Hampshire passed a law that allowed people to obtain a CPA license without the experience requirement. With that change he passed the CPA exam and was initially licensed in 1921 in New Hampshire.

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