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Durham - North Carolina Mutual Life & Black WallStreet


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OK, so Raleigh/Durham isn't as urban as Charlotte, Richmond, Altanta, Nashville, Memphis, etc., but we have our fair share of history particularly Durham and it's rich African Amerian history. For a city of it's size, Durham has a high concentration of middle-to-upper class AA as result of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company (First & Largest AA Life Insurance Company in the United Staes) and Mechanics & Farmers Bank.

Durham has a lot of "grit" and receives an undue amount of negative press without focusing on the positive.

It was once well-known, that the only place for AA do business in the South was Durham & Atlanta. Durham is home of the original Black Wallstreet (Parrish Street which is being revamped). Tulsa, OK's Black Wallstreet grew to be larger than Durhams before it's unfortunate demise as a result of a race riot, but leaders from Tulsa actually modeled their Black Wall Street after Parrish Street in Durham.

The NCM Life Insurace building is one of the tallest buildings in Durham (not that we have that many), but stands as a model community strength. On the top floor, there is a room dedicated to the histroy of the company and it's evolution; if you ever in town, I encourage anyone to pay a visit. Remember, this business was built during Jim Crow laws in the south - a remarkable and unbreakable spirit IMO.

Check out this link: http://www.ncmutuallife.com/company_history.html

On Parrish Street, there are a number of AA law/bank/accounting businesses. My friend has a law firm there and his family (the Spauldings) were amongst the founders of the NCM Life. His father and uncle were the first AA to attend UNC Chapel Hill (or any other public university) in 1954. They were chosen because their parents worked for NCM Life and were shielded from work place retaliations.....in his own words, it was not a lot of fun.

If anyone has pictures, please post as I will when I learn how do it!

There is more to Durham than Duke Univ.....

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I did hear about Durham being more progressive part of the state then. As it is today one of the more open minded places in the state. Are there any museums there or planned. Also I know Norfolk had the same name but I am not sure as what time frame it was. I almost considered NCCU over NCA&T. I probably should have went there but hindsight is 20/20.

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BSEE '89

MSEE '96

I enjoy Durham but there's NOTHING like the greatest HOMECOMING on earth! I'm old school so I've relegated my events to golf outings and tailgating.....oops and Friday night at the Sheration.....hopping from hospitality suite to hospitality suite...INCREDIBLE environment.

I catch HELL in Eagle Land but it's all HBCU love.

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