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Building the Black MetropolisAfrican American Entrepreneurship in Chicago$
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Robert E. Weems and Jason P. Chambers

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041426

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041426.001.0001

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Contested Terrain

Contested Terrain

P. W. Chavers, Anthony Overton, and the Founding of the Douglass National Bank

(p.80) Chapter 4 Contested Terrain
Building the Black Metropolis

Robert E. Weems Jr.

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the “contested terrain” associated with the founding of Chicago’s Douglass National Bank in 1921. Anthony Overton, one of history’s most prominent African American entrepreneurs, is widely regarded as the founder of the second national bank organized by African Americans. Yet, the evidence indicates that this distinction should go to Pearl W. Chavers, a relatively obscure early twentieth-century black business person. The story of Anthony Overton’s ascent and P.W. Chavers’ descent in the Douglass National Bank’s administrative hierarchy reveals the power of money and influence. It also illuminates the nuances of both group and individual entrepreneur-based strategies for African American economic development.

Keywords:   Douglass National Bank, Anthony Overton, P.W. Chavers, African American National Banks, African American Economic Development

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