Business and Commerce

Black-Owned Businesses

What was Black Wall Street?

The black community in Durham, North Carolina, became an example of enterprise and economic resilience by the beginning of the 1900s. It was often referred to as “The Wall Street of Negro America.” There were over 150 flourishing businesses owned and operated by blacks in Durham by the late 1940s. These included cafes, movie houses, barber shops, boarding houses, grocery stores, pressing shops, funeral homes, and other traditional service providers. The city’s highly successful North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and other large businesses made Durham a distinguished center of black business.


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