Homer B. Roberts (1885–1952) was a graduate of Kansas State Agricultural College and veteran of World War I who was the first Black man to attain the rank of lieutenant in the United States Army Signal Corps. He began his auto business by placing ads in the local paper, advertising used cars.
After brokering deals for over 60 cars with African American buyers in 1919, Homer B. Roberts was awarded franchises with car manufacturers, Hupmobile, in 1923 and then Rickenbacker in 1925.
He also signed dealerships with Oldsmobile and Ford. The ownership of these cars by Black families allowed them to take to the road, making it easier to migrate, go on vacation or simply visit with family and friends.
- Collision Works. 2016. “Black History Month: Pioneering African American in the Automotive Industry – Homer B. Roberts.” Collision Works.
- Restuicca, Rusty. 2000. First Black Dealer: Homer Roberts in 1923. Automotive News.
- “Homer B. Roberts Biography | America’s First Black Auto Dealer | Black History,” Bayer Mack, YouTube video, 2:02, April 6, 2018.