Chain: Financial and Professional Impact in Durham 

Historical Markers
The "Financial and Professional Impact in Durham" that Parrish Street had was incredibly substantial. At the beginning of the 20th century, in the midst of a largely white-owned business district in Durham, North Carolina, black-owned financial enterprises flourished and earned Parrish Street the moniker “Black Wall Street.”  The success of these businesses gave Durham a national reputation as the “Capital of the Black Middle Class.” Their legacy continues in many important Durham institutions still today. And the entrepreneurial spirit of the Black Wall Street pioneers is inspiring a whole new generation of business owners on Parrish Street (Source:

One of the most renowned of Black Wall Street's institutions that has made a continuous financial and professional impact is the NC Mutual Life Insurance Company.  Since its beginning in 1898, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company has grown to become one of the nation's most widely-known and successful business institutions.  It is the only insurance company located in North Carolina with a charter dated before 1900. With over $7.7 billion dollars of insurance in force, North Carolina Mutual is the oldest and largest African American life insurance company in the United States. 

To better understand what Black Wall Street was like in the 20th century, as well as its impact on the city of Durham and beyond, click on the links below:

A short film about the NC Mutual that was a featured trailer in black movie theaters circa 1940:

MP3 of WUNC coverage of Black Wall Street, NC Mutual:                         

Excerpt from WUNC Interview:

A large crowd of people pose in front of the two-story N.C. Mutual Building in the later 1920's. Courtesy North Carolina Mutual Archives, Duke University Libraries.