At the turn of the century, the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company became the "world's largest Negro business." Located in Durham, North Carolina, which was known as the "Black Wall Street of America," this business came to symbolize the ideas of racial progress, self-help, and solidarity in America. Walter B. Weare's social and intellectual history, originally published in 1973 (University of Illinois Press) and updated here to include a new introduction, still stands as the definitive history of black business in the New South. Drawing on a wide range of sources-including personal papers of the company's leaders and oral history interviews-Weare traces the company's story from its ideological roots in the eighteenth century to its economic success in the twentieth century.
Preface vii List of Tables xii Introduction to the 1993 Edition xiii 1. The Evolution of Uplift 3 2. The Company with a Soul and a Service 29 3. Survival and Success 50 4. Expansion and Retreat 103 5. The Good Ol' Mutual Spirit 133 6. The Second Survival 154 7. The Company and the Community: The Burden of Race 179 8. The Company and the Community: Politics and Race Relations 211 Epilogue: The Dividends of War 265 Sources 289 Index 305