This Day in Black History: Oct. 17, 1888

Capital Savings Bank was organized in Washington, D.C.

Posted: 10/17/2012 07:00 AM EDT

On Oct. 17, 1888, Capital Savings Bank, the first bank organized and operated by African-Americans, was founded in Washington, D.C.  

Capital Savings helped stimulate Black entrepreneurship by offering loans to Black-owned businesses and land owners when white-owned banks would not. Confidence in the bank continued to grow, and, by 1892, deposits were estimated at $300,000.

Although Capital Savings Bank closed its doors in 1902, it became a model for other Black-owned banks across the country. Between 1888 and 1934, 134 Black banks were established, and from 1867 through 1917, the number of Black businesses increased from 4,000 to 50,000, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System reports.

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