History of Parrish Street

Heritage of Black Wall Street
In the early 20th century, Parrish Street was dubbed “Black Wall Street” due to the success of black-owned businesses such as North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and Mechanics and Farmers Bank. Those were the days when Jim Crow laws reigned and commerce was segregated.

Visionary leadership and Black Wall Street business growth fueled the development of many important community institutions throughout Durham. To understand the history of Durham, one must understand the entrepreneurial spirit of Black Wall Street.

Virtual Tour
Take our virtual walking tour of historic Parrish Street, developed by students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Founders of Mechanics and Farmers Bank - 1900

A group of men in an old black and white photo posing and sitting on chairs