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2010 - 95th Annual Convention Words: 266 words || 
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1. Belsches, Elvatrice. "Richmond: The Cradle of Black Capitalism" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2020-02-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435046_index.html>
Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: Richmond Virginia has carried the moniker, "The Cradle of Black Capitalism" for its extraordinary history of pioneering black-owned banks and insurance companies. Between the years of 1888-1929 the city was home to six chartered black-owned banks and was the primary reason why Virginia led all other states with around 14 black-owned banks in 1914. The overarching reason why Richmond became the cradle was the presence of the headquarters of the United Order of True Reformers. The True Reformers would transform, with the Reverend William Washington Browne as its leader, from primarily a temperance organization into inarguably the most powerful black fraternal and entrepreneurial organization at the turn of the 20th century. The True Reformers would make history in March of 1888 by organizing the first bank chartered by blacks in America. With a Richmond workforce numbering in the hundreds, and a national membership that would grow to upwards of 100,000, the True Reformers would develop into a fertile proving ground for subsequent pioneering black business enterprises and pioneers. These included Maggie Walker, Emmett C. Burke and the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank; John Mitchell Jr. and the Mechanics' Savings Bank; Southern Aid, the Richmond Beneficial Insurance Company and North Carolina Mutual.
This paper will also underscore the critical contributions of the black educational and religious institutions in Richmond to the success of the early black businesses in Richmond. Specific examples of "generational grooming" by successful black entrepreneurs who pre-dated the Civil War will also be examined in relation to their contributions during Reconstruction and beyond.


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