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.
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”.
In this article, 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.”