Rebuilding A Black Wall Street Mindset: Economic and Community Empowerment

The purpose of this event is to discuss the current state of the economic situation of the nation’s African American population and Durham population. The event will also highlight areas that local policymakers and people in the community can target to support economic opportunity for the Black community. More specifically, our panelist will discuss the need to use HBCUs, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and social investing as economic empowerment catalysts to directly improve and impact the local Black community and economy. With each event, we consider them to be “call to action” networking meetings. We want our attendees to walk out of the event empowered to take action to create opportunities for both themselves and others.

Black Wall Street Panel

Amber Payton – Co-Founder, Garden Street Publishing

Ariel Roberson – Co-Founder, Garden Street Publishing


Kim Moore, Ph.D. – VP of Marketing and External Relations, NC Mutual

Reginald Randolph – Regional Director, NC Mutual

Travis Rouse – Chief Sales Officer, Mechanics & Farmers Bank

CJ Broderick – President, Greater Durham Black Chamber of Commerce

From Me 2 We Panel

Bianca Little – Dir of Programming, HBCU Wall Street

Tim Gibson – Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management


Doug Speight – Executive Director, American Underground

Ryan Major – President + Founder, Triangle Business Systems

Cecily Mitchell – President + Co-Founder, Art Of Cool

David Hall – Attorney at Law

Alexa Broderick – Founder, The Equity Paradigm

The History of Durham’s Black Wall Street:
It was the hub of Black businesses and financial services in Durham, North Carolina during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was and to this day, still is located on Parrish Street. It was home to Mechanics and Farmers Bank and North Carolina Mutual. During a time period when disenfranchising blacks and openly violating their rights was common, the black populations of Durham were making strides in business that challenged systematic oppression that was sweeping the country. During this time in the US, this area was one of few Black communities that saw a steady increase of population, wealth, and diversity of occupation. By 1890 the number of Blacks in Durham was 1,858 or 33.8% of the total population. The year 1910 exhibited an increase of over 200% in the total population and the African American population was approximately 38% of the total. The numbers based on wealth were even more staggering. The total valuation of black property in the county was $8,696 in 1890. By 1920, this valuation skyrocketed to an astounding $4,298,067. Even after accounting for inflation, the level of growth for Black Wall Street was incredible. Booker T. Washington, mentioned in his commentary of Durham the level of vocational diversity. He wrote that he had “never seen in a city of this size so many prosperous blacksmiths, wheelwrights, cotton mill operatives, and tobacco factory owners among the Negros.”

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