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Celebrating Black History & Women in Construction

Lithko honors the diversity that makes the construction industry thrive. As we transition from Black History Month to Women in Construction Week, we’re featuring a company that exemplifies the contributions of both groups.

With just $1,000 and a dream, Deryl McKissack started McKissack & McKissack, the nation’s oldest African American design and construction firm. Deryl McKissack is a part of the fifth generation of her family to work in design and construction. Today, Deryl and her team are working on over $15 billion in projects nationwide.

It all started when Moses McKissack worked as an enslaved brickmaker. Moses eventually received his freedom and taught his son, Gabriel Moses II. Gabriel later became a famous craftsman and aided local firms.

The legacy then continued to Moses III, Gabriel’s son. Moses III started the McKissack Company in 1905 with his brother Calvin. They became the first licensed Black architects in the Southeastern United States.

Next, the baton was passed to Deryl’s father, William DeBerry. With this heritage in mind, Deryl started McKissack & McKissack in 1990.

Today, Deryl and her dedication to this business are an inspiration for women all around the nation. The McKissack & McKissack firm has assisted in the construction of iconic projects such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial.


Learn more about the McKissack Legacy here.