Citation

African-American Banks as Villian?: An Attempt to Recast Black Banking during the 1930s

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Abstract:

In a confidential letter to the President of the Afro-American Newspapers, Carl J. Murphy, the director of the Citizens & Southern Bank and Trust Company (located in Philadelphia), R.R. Wright, Sr. sets forth a theme of ambivalence in black banking during the 1930s. Wright confides in Murphy, explaining some of his bank’s problems: “No institution has had as hard luck as our bankshave (sic) had in collecting loans from many persons of our race, especially when these persons have no stock in it. They will brazenly borrow, but they will not pay it back.” Wright was obviously frustrated, with the difficulties and realities of banking, regardless of one’s race, during this period. However, unlike, the dark foreshadowing of black capitalism found in the analysis of others during the 1930s, Wright maintains a balanced and holistic view of his bank’s circumstances: “I am sorry to remember that when we started there were 30,000 banks in existence. Today, there are about 15,000. There were also seventy-one (71) Negro banks in existence. There are now about twelve (12). I don’t think that mortality was due to ignorance or venality, but it was due to the times.”
This paper aims to address the ambiguous nature of banking in the black community in the 1930s. It builds on the critique made of two classic black works, Abram Harris’ The Negro As Capitalist, and E. Franklin Frazier’s Black Bourgeoisie, by Robert E. Weems, Jr. He opines that the short-sighted analysis of black capitalism by Harris, Frazier, and others negatively affected how black people viewed, understood and wrote about black banking and business after the 1930s. Using primary sources from the Afro-American Newspapers Archives, this paper seeks to provide a further examination of the nuances, shortcomings, and victories found in black banking during the 1930s.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435395_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Allen, Marcus. "African-American Banks as Villian?: An Attempt to Recast Black Banking during the 1930s" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435395_index.html>

APA Citation:

Allen, M. A. , 2010-09-29 "African-American Banks as Villian?: An Attempt to Recast Black Banking during the 1930s" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435395_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In a confidential letter to the President of the Afro-American Newspapers, Carl J. Murphy, the director of the Citizens & Southern Bank and Trust Company (located in Philadelphia), R.R. Wright, Sr. sets forth a theme of ambivalence in black banking during the 1930s. Wright confides in Murphy, explaining some of his bank’s problems: “No institution has had as hard luck as our bankshave (sic) had in collecting loans from many persons of our race, especially when these persons have no stock in it. They will brazenly borrow, but they will not pay it back.” Wright was obviously frustrated, with the difficulties and realities of banking, regardless of one’s race, during this period. However, unlike, the dark foreshadowing of black capitalism found in the analysis of others during the 1930s, Wright maintains a balanced and holistic view of his bank’s circumstances: “I am sorry to remember that when we started there were 30,000 banks in existence. Today, there are about 15,000. There were also seventy-one (71) Negro banks in existence. There are now about twelve (12). I don’t think that mortality was due to ignorance or venality, but it was due to the times.”
This paper aims to address the ambiguous nature of banking in the black community in the 1930s. It builds on the critique made of two classic black works, Abram Harris’ The Negro As Capitalist, and E. Franklin Frazier’s Black Bourgeoisie, by Robert E. Weems, Jr. He opines that the short-sighted analysis of black capitalism by Harris, Frazier, and others negatively affected how black people viewed, understood and wrote about black banking and business after the 1930s. Using primary sources from the Afro-American Newspapers Archives, this paper seeks to provide a further examination of the nuances, shortcomings, and victories found in black banking during the 1930s.


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