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View Full Version : In the pre civil rights area South (and elsewhere) were creditworthy blacks excluded from loans?


Frylock
01-06-2011, 11:02 AM
The South is a big area, of course, but I imagine there can be some fairly objective answers to this question.

Was it common for banks in the South before the civil rights era to consider a black person to be creditworthy, yet deny him a loan?

Or if a bank denied a black person a loan, was it always because the bank genuinely believed the black person not to be creditworthy, i.e., not likely to be able to repay the loan?

This question is related to a hijack occuring towards what is presently the end of this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=13323279&posted=1#post13323279).

HeyHomie
01-06-2011, 01:25 PM
This wikipedia article touches upon some aspects of the question, though not directly answering it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redlining

Bridget Burke
01-06-2011, 01:36 PM
This is a fascinating topic (http://www.aframnews.com/html/interspire/articles/128/1/Black-Banks-Segregations-Gift-to-the-Black-Community/Page1.html) requiring more time than I have right now.

De jure, or legalized segregation, kept African-Americans excluded from public facilities such as theatres, hotels, and restaurants. In response to segregation, Blacks found it necessary to establish their own businesses that they could patronize. Among the institutions established in the Black community at that time were Black-owned banks.

Black-owned banks were important to the African-American community because White banks often refused to loan money to Blacks, or loaned money at high interest rates. With the rise of Black banks, African-Americans could secure loans to purchase homes and start businesses.

Although De jure segregation might not have been the case above the Mason-Dixon Line, there was still the need for Black owned banks in those "enlightened" areas.

kunilou
01-06-2011, 05:00 PM
Within my memory (the mid-1960s) I can remember civil rights protests at banks accused of not writing mortgages or business loans for blacks.

Redlining was common enough that Congress had to pass a law against it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Housing_Act_of_1968).

As Bridget Burke noted, one of the forgotten things about pre-civil rights society was the development of a completely separate business structure in black communities -- banks, department stores, supermarkets, hotels, doctors, lawyers, etc. that developed because blacks were denied access to the white community's institutions.

Lynn Bodoni
01-06-2011, 06:19 PM
Was it common for banks in the South before the civil rights era to consider a black person to be creditworthy, yet deny him a loan? He was considered not creditworthy because he was black. If he'd had white skin, then the same information would have been considered creditworthy, yes. And, of course, black women had it even worse.

Hell, my father experienced a LOT of prejudice in the 60s and 70s THAT I KNOW OF. I saw it, and I was a child/teen at the time. There's no telling how much prejudice that I DIDN'T see. Many people didn't consider him to be really white...he's a somewhat swarthy Italian, with an Italian last name.

Remember, prejudice was rampant. Many people didn't like Kennedy for president because he was Catholic. And, of course, "no Irish need apply".

badger197
01-08-2011, 08:15 AM
Remember, prejudice was rampant. Many people didn't like Kennedy for president because he was Catholic. And, of course, "no Irish need apply".

In this article (http://tigger.uic.edu/~rjensen/no-irish.htm), historian Richard Jensen argues that "No Irish Need Apply" signs were largely a myth and not all common. He cites, for example, only a handful of examples from the first 70 years of the New York Times:

"The complete text of New York Times is searchable from 1851 through 1923. Although the optical character recognition is not perfect (some microfilmed pages are blurry), it captures most of the text. A search of seventy years of the daily paper revealed only two classified ads with NINA—one posted by a Brooklyn harness shop that wanted a boy who could write, and a request for a couple to take charge of a cottage upstate."

carnivorousplant
01-08-2011, 09:57 AM
The Mosaic Templars Association (http://www.mosaictemplarscenter.com/collections/history.aspx) provided insurance and banking as well as other services in Little Rock, Arkansas.