Freedom Bank of Finance (1969-2000)

Freedom Bank Interior With Portland Mayor Terry Schrunk and Others, 1970 Image Courtesy of City of Portland (OR) Archives In 1968, a group of businessmen in Portland, Oregon saw the recently founded Bank of Finance in Los Angeles, California as a model for their creating the first black-owned commercial bank in the Pacific … Read MoreFreedom Bank of Finance (1969-2000)

Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Helena, Montana (1888- )

When African American citizens founded the St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Helena, Montana, in 1888, their population topped 250 people in a city of roughly 12,000 souls. Located in Helena’s eastside residential district on 114 N. Hoback, the church building rested on … Read MoreSaint James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Helena, Montana (1888- )

African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church (1821- )

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is an historically African American Protestant denomination based in New York City, New York. Also known as the Freedom Church, the AMEZ was officially recognized in 1821, but the foundations for Zion’s founding began in the late 1700s. In 1796, due to … Read MoreAfrican Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church (1821- )

The Catholique Institute (1848-1915)

Map of New Orleans at the Time of the Founding of the Institute Catholique Image Ownership: Public domain The Institute Catholique, or the Catholic School for Indigent Orphans, was opened in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1848, and aimed to offer a free educationto all African American orphans in the city … Read MoreThe Catholique Institute (1848-1915)

Freedmen’s Hospital/Howard University Hospital (1862– )

Image Ownership: Public Domain The Freedmen’s Hospital was founded in 1862 in Washington, D.C.  It was the first hospital of its kind to aid in the medical treatment of former slaves.  Later it became the major hospital for the African American community in Washington, D.C.  The … Read MoreFreedmen’s Hospital/Howard University Hospital (1862– )

The 13th Street Colored Branch Library, Meridian, Mississippi (1913-1974)

Image Ownership: Public domain The 13th Street (St.) Colored Branch was a segregated public library established by the city of Meridian, Mississippi, in 1912 and opened in March 1913. It was one of the first free public libraries for African Americans in the state of … Read MoreThe 13th Street Colored Branch Library, Meridian, Mississippi (1913-1974)

Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas (1875- )

Image Courtesy of Gloria Lawsha Smith Following emancipation in 1865, former slaves across the South detached themselves from white-controlled congregations and established independent churches. In Fort Worth, Texas, historic Mt. Gilead Baptist Church was one of those new congregations. Over time it would serve the … Read MoreMt. Gilead Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas (1875- )

The Boston Saloon (1864-1875)

Excavation of the Boston Saloon, July 2000 Image Ownership: Public domain The Boston Saloon, which operated in Virginia City, Nevada, is the only black-owned Western saloon to be the subject of an archaeological excavation. During Virginia City’s heyday in the early 1870s, the town supported … Read MoreThe Boston Saloon (1864-1875)

Louisville Western Branch Library (1905- )

Children at the Louisville Western Branch Library, 1950 Image Ownership: Public domain The Louisville Western Branch Library in Louisville, Kentucky, first opened in 1905. This library was the first public library in the nation to serve and be fully operated by black residents. In 1905 … Read MoreLouisville Western Branch Library (1905- )

Hotel Robinson (1897-1921)

Hotel Robinson, ca. 1900 Image Ownership: Public domain The Hotel Robinson, built in 1897, was one of the first businesses in San Diego County, California to be owned and operated by an African American, and the oldest continuously operated hotel in Southern California. The hotel … Read MoreHotel Robinson (1897-1921)