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Banking as an Ambiguous Undertaking: A Survey of the Nuances, Shortcomings, and Victories of 1930’s Banking in Black Communities

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Abstract:

In a confidential letter to the President of the Afro-American Newspapers, Carl Murphy, the director of Philadelphia’s Citizens & Southern Bank and Trust Company, 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 . . .” Wright was obviously frustrated, with the difficulties and realities of banking, however, Wright maintains a balanced and holistic view of his bank’s circumstances: “. . . when we started there were 30,000 banks. . . Today, there are about 15,000. I don’t think that mortality was due to ignorance or venality, but it was due to the times.”

This paper addresses 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. in the chapter, “Where Did All Our Customers Go?: Historic Black-Owned Businesses and the African American Consumer Market,” in Black Business and Economic Power. Using primary sources from the Afro-American Newspapers Archives, this paper examines the nuances, shortcomings, and victories found in black banking during the 1930s.
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Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436166_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Allen, Marcus. "Banking as an Ambiguous Undertaking: A Survey of the Nuances, Shortcomings, and Victories of 1930’s Banking in Black Communities" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436166_index.html>

APA Citation:

Allen, M. "Banking as an Ambiguous Undertaking: A Survey of the Nuances, Shortcomings, and Victories of 1930’s Banking in Black Communities" 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/p436166_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: In a confidential letter to the President of the Afro-American Newspapers, Carl Murphy, the director of Philadelphia’s Citizens & Southern Bank and Trust Company, 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 . . .” Wright was obviously frustrated, with the difficulties and realities of banking, however, Wright maintains a balanced and holistic view of his bank’s circumstances: “. . . when we started there were 30,000 banks. . . Today, there are about 15,000. I don’t think that mortality was due to ignorance or venality, but it was due to the times.”

This paper addresses 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. in the chapter, “Where Did All Our Customers Go?: Historic Black-Owned Businesses and the African American Consumer Market,” in Black Business and Economic Power. Using primary sources from the Afro-American Newspapers Archives, this paper examines the nuances, shortcomings, and victories found in black banking during the 1930s.


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