President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a bank holiday on March 5, 1933, closing banks across the country until they proved financial soundness. Meanwhile, as the United States crawled out of the Great Depression, Jesse H. Mitchell and a group of black businessmen accomplished the extraordinary—
Mitchell, a Howard University–educated lawyer and realtor, and his friends sold $65,000 in stock, and in the sweltering heat on August 20, 1934, Industrial Bank of Washington opened for business. A range of black investors rallied around the effort, from individuals, churches, and service-oriented organizations to savvy business owners.
The bank has carried on for three generations:
Highlights of Industrial Bank:
• Rising from the Depression
• Building the bank
• Celebrating milestones and successes
• Connecting to the community and customers
• Continuing the legacy
B. Doyle Mitchell Jr. and Patricia A. Mitchell teamed with award-winning author Lisa Frazier Page to tell the story of this remarkable institution. The bank’s story is illustrated through images from the Industrial Bank archives and the Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Behring Center, Smithsonian Institution. The foreword was composed by Edward Ellington Jr. and April Ellington (the Savoy Ellingtons), son and daughter of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington.
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