Here at Provident1898, we are proud to support local Black entrepreneurs, and part of our mission is to provide education about the Durham’s Black Wall Street. During the early 1900s, Durham, North Carolina was known for its diversity and entrepreneurial prowess, and its West Parrish Street became a hub of Black-owned businesses. Despite the restrictive Jim Crow Laws of the era, members of the Black community here were able to establish businesses and banks and achieved impressive success, putting Durham on par with communities like Tulsa, Oklahoma and Richmond, Virginia as centers of Black culture and business prosperity.
Notable businesses founded on Durham’s Black Wall Street during this time period include Mechanics and Farmers Bank, the first bank in the U.S. to be owned by African Americans and the second-oldest bank to be owned by minority members of any kind. In addition, this area gave rise to North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance, which still exists to this day as the largest and oldest African American life insurance company. The community and its hardworking, innovative members received written praise from the likes of W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington and earned widespread acclaim.
The entrepreneurial spirit of Durham’s Black Wall Street remains strong even in modern-day Durham. Companies such as Loanable, RewardStock, SpokeHub, Blush Essentials Natural Body Products, and more have their roots in the Durham community, and our team at Provident1898 aims to help many more local companies through our venture coaching services and flexible workspace. If you are interested in learning more about our work to continue the legacy of Durham’s Black Wall Street, just give us a call.