The “Double Duty Dollar”

For African Americans in Durham and beyond, investing in a black-owned company meant investing in the wealth of their community.  

Black financial institutions grew out of a tradition of mutual aid. After emancipation, freed people came together to pool their resources.

The first black-owned life insurance companies like NC Mutual and banks like Durham’s Mechanics and Farmers started small, issuing policies and loans to African Americans turned away by large, white-owned companies. They grew based on savvy investments, outside support, and community participation.