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The Eye!

Formerly know as My Mind's Eye! Concept under major reworking! 

Friday, June 02, 2006

12:08 AM - Be Proud...

Be Proud..., originally uploaded by ChicagoEye.

This was an interesting picture and it's on a corner I'm somewhat familiar with (95th and Michigan). Check out this backstory from the photographer, ChicagoEye...

..and yet, a little sad. This sweet ghost sign from the uptight/outtasight 1970s was for Independence Bank of Chicago, one the nation's largest black-owned banks. Offices were at 79th and Cottage Grove and, early on, 79th and Stony Island in the city's black middle-class South Side communities. Independence and Seaway National Bank were both black owned and through they were born of utter racism---black folks formed their own banks because white-owned banks weren't that keen on lending to them--they were sources of pride, especially on the black South Side and the slogan on this sign, frankly, almost brings a tear to the eye its to simple, elegant and of times: "Be proud." Then came the Community Reinvestment Act of the 1980s which all but forced major banks to make loans in black America. Suddenly there was competition for Independence and other black-owned banks. Independence hung tough and even acquired the viable and white-owned Drexel Bank. Sadlly, Independence is no longer around. It got bought out by Shorebank in the 1990s. Seaway still exists, but there are rumbles every year about them selling.


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