The Black Aristocracy

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The Black Aristocracy is Born While many elite blacks were able to maintain some of their accumulated assets, the country was in a severe state of transition economically and socially. And by the onset of the Civil War, many free black men [and slaves] had enlisted in the army and began receiving federal allotments for their service through the Freedman’s Bank (Frazier Page 35). In 1865, a month before his death, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act passed by Congress that established the Freedman’s Savings Bank to help blacks plant economic roots (Frazier Page 35). Nearly 1 in 10 black men in America were soldiers who were paid wages that were deposited for them and their families to establish a pattern of saving …show more content…
Despite this, understanding the benefits of accumulated interest made them want to build their own institutions of wealth. From 1888 to 1934, 134 banks for blacks opened, but many dissolved due to lack of experience and education in running a bank, risky investments in black businesses and failed real estate holdings (Frazier). Regardless, the importance of banks was cemented in the minds of blacks that were still looking for ways to move up the economic …show more content…
And many did not realize that despite their skin color, education and adopted behaviors, they were still African Americans in a racially segregated country that limited black movement within the larger socioeconomic sphere. Similarly to Dr. Mary Pattillo’s assertion of the contemporary middle class, these black elites were in a highly susceptible position because most white Americans were still highly racist and would rather uplift another white person than a black one. And with the swelling numbers of European immigrants migrating to America, they began replacing black elites in service jobs while a newly emerging white middle class also shut them out. The new white upper class began distancing themselves by migrating away from urban communities and further restricting blacks from entering their establishments to perform work. And the association to whites, which helped to create their status level, would ironically be their demise and the driving force behind their involuntary assimilation with the darker skinned blacks they isolated. This signaled the rise of Jim Crow and the ending of the old black bourgeoisie reign atop the black social and economic

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