Most Weren’t Aware Of Black Wall Street In Durham, NC

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Black Wall Street was thumpin and jumpin back in the 1900’s; before it was all torn down. Black people were huge investors, planners, forecasters and breadwinners. One of the most influential Black business men during that era was a man named Charles Clinton Spaulding. He ran the biggest and richest Black owned companies during the twentieth century.

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Located on Parrish St. in Durham NC was the Pinnacle of black business. Carl Webb, of Provident 1898, is a keeper of valuable memories. He reflects on the legacy of Mechanics and Farmers Bank; which was started in 1908 by John Merrick.

Ten years prior, Merrick founded North Carolina Mutual Insurance; which flourished under the leadership of C.C. Spaulding and blossomed into what ads claimed was the largest insurance company in the world serving African Americans.

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It’s common that most people are familiar with the Black Wall Street in Oklahoma; which eventually led to the Tulsa Massacre. However, this vivacious and thriving area in Durham was unfortunately destryoed as well; along with other businesses and communities due to the creation of Highway 147; along with numerous other factors. While this did not completely eradicate black enterprise in Durham; NC Mutual and M&F are still thriving;nonetheless it did physically destroy a significant part of the black neighborhood and in turn, an important part of history.

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