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John Hervey Wheeler, Black Banking, and the Economic Struggle for Civil Rights$
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Brandon K. Winford

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178257

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178257.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Black Business Activism in the Great Depression

Black Business Activism in the Great Depression

(p.31) 2 Black Business Activism in the Great Depression
John Hervey Wheeler, Black Banking, and the Economic Struggle for Civil Rights

Brandon K. Winford

University Press of Kentucky

Chapter 2 pivots away from NC Mutual by more closely examining M&F Bank after its establishment and its survival amid the catastrophic collapse that precipitated the Great Depression decade. The chapter argues that because M&F Bank followed an ethos that engendered a deep commitment to the overall prosperity of the black community, it was in a much better position than most black-owned banks to advocate a return to political participation for the black community. In this way, Durham’s black businesspeople served as stalwart community leaders, which provided a training ground for a younger cadre of well-educated and ready activists. Moreover, they embraced a multidimensional strategy of reciprocity—complicated by gender, class, and intergenerational tensions.

Keywords:   Black business activism, Great Depression, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, Community leadership, Black political participation, Black businesspeople, Durham, North Carolina, Black Durham

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