Blueprint for Black Power: Black Banks

Excerpt from Amos Wilson:

“It is encouraging to note that of the Black-owned banks which survived the Great Depression, five are still operating today.  These include Consolidated Bank and Trust Co. of Richmond, Virginia (1903); Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Co. of Nashville, Tennessee (1904); Mechanics and Farmers Bank of Durham, North Carolina (1908); First State Bank of Danville, Virginia (1919); and Citizens Trust Bank of Atlanta, Georgia (1921).   It should also be kept in mind that the failure of many Black-owned banks were paralleled by the failure of many White-owned banks at the same time and much later.”

The future of financial institutions serving Black folks have grown tremendously in the years following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In his last years, he modified and broadened his civil rights strategy to combat structural economic discrimination.  Today’s firms face the challenge of building wealth for owners, while providing a bridge in terms of resources and/or investments for those still facing an uphill climb.

Larger Black institutional leaders often express the importance of building intergenerational wealth: the kind that can be protected and grown.  That type of wealth requires financial education.  What do you have?  What do you know?


  1. temple3 – someone asked me yesterday what mlk day meant to me. what does it mean to you? just curious.

  2. In the context of the quotation posted above, the day offers a symbolic opportunity for Black folk to link culture and trade/finance/wealth building. It’s not quite the Macy’s Day Parade, but MLK Day should be an opportunity for Black vendors to increase sales volume by doing good work.

    The “day” isn’t really about him – as he was…it’s been framed around how America would like to remember him – stuck on a podium in 1963…not active and engaged from 1964 through 1968.

    Moreover, since he’s the first to be recognized, the day transcends his works since his accomplishments were not singular – important-critical-vital-needed – but, not singular. It’s part of a continuum of work that is ongoing.

  3. thanks for the thoughts. have you been watching any of the recent duke assualt case coverage? what are your thoughts?

  4. I never gave the case a thought – from the beginning because I didn’t want to rush to judgment of the accuser or the accused. Its a policy and a preference. Now that the DA is ducking for cover, it seems that would have been sound advice for the city of Durham.

  5. With that said, the broader implication of the case is, “Why are Americans predisposed to or willing to believe charges/comments/assertions/claims of anyone so readily when race/sex is a factor? What do you think about that?

  6. i am unsure why people are willing to accept any such thing at face value – certainly a charge like this. from what i am seeing on the news though the community in durham convicted these 3 guys before any facts were made available. i think the story and demographcis behind the story make it interesting to the public, but only facts matter in a case such as this. race, gender, socio-economic standing, etc. hold no water for me.

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