By Walter B. Weare
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Extra resources for Black Business in the New South: A Social History of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
Remaining uncivilized . . ignorant, idle, and dependent on the United States Government.... Unlike the Negro [he continued], they have no banking institutions; neglecting their opportunity, they are fast losing their birth right, while on the other hand, NEGRO INDUSTRY, THRIFT, AND SELF-INITIATIVE have given to our race 10,000 mercantile enterprises, 63 banking institutions, 400 drugstores, 20 million acres of land, and material wealth exceeding $700,000,000. 69 67. Clippings, New York Age, April 4, 1907, Hampton Clippings, CCProgress and Prosperity," vol.
73. 37. Trent, "Development of Negro Life Insurance," p. 21. 38. , pp. 21, 27-29, 37-38. , pp. 3 1 , 32, 34, 48; Robert McCants Andrews, John Merrick: A Biographical Sketch (Durham: Seeman Printery, 1920), pp. 44-46; Albon L. Holsey, "Pearson: The Brown Duke of Durham," Opportunity, VI (April, 192 3), 116-117· The Evolution of Uplift 15 William Gaston Pearson, an outstanding Durham Negro businessman and educator who co-founded with Merrick both the Royal Knights of King David and the North Carolina Mutual, looked back from the perspective of the 1920'S to assess the transition provided by the fraternals: "These societies were the trail blazers of Negro business.
Had the Negroes of Wilmington owned half of the city ... there wouldn't anything happened to compare with what did. 62 Of the six men who joined Merrick in organizing the North Carolina Mutual, five had been active in politics. But they saw little reason to continue in the face of the disfranchisement campaign, and all redirected their energies into business and education, into separate black institutions. 63 Nearly as important as the overt white hostility in reinforcing ethnocentrism was a massive covert attack by the scientific racists and their popularizers, many of whom predicted that the Negro race was destined to die out within fifty years-and all for the good, because the black man was a parasitic weight on the progress of the republic.
Black Business in the New South: A Social History of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company by Walter B. Weare