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How The Freedman's Bank Became an Enduring Symbol of Black Hope Even Amid Failure

"It was a sight I had never expected to see. … The whole thing was beautiful". These words were said by Frederick Douglass in a moment of genuine feeling and truly encapsulate the significance of The Freedman's Bank to America- specifically the black consciousness. Created in 1865 through a charter of Congress, the savings bank was created to service the financial needs of the newly freed black community. Having only experienced slavery in America, the former slaves had never had any way of legitimately handling their own financial affairs. They needed the support and education necessary to integrate into their new American society. For many, this was the first time they would earn their own wages. At the time of...

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