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


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.

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.

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.