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THE RISE & FALL OF JESSE BINGA: ONCE THE RICHEST BLACK MAN IN THE U.S.

Jesse Binga’s pioneering ventures in banking and real estate made him a nationally known figure of black business achievement in the early 20th Century. A native of Detroit, he moved to Chicago in the early 1890s. Buying a succession of run-down buildings, he repaired them as rentals. White-owned banks refused to lend to African-Americans, inspiring Binga to establish his own bank in 1908 at the southeast corner of State and 36th Streets.

Thousands of African-Americans opened accounts, and the Binga Bank prospered. It attained a state charter in 1921, and eventually occupied imposing buildings at the northwest corner of State and 35th Streets. With the success of his businesses, Binga purchased a home at 5922 South Park Avenue (now King Drive), in what was then an exclusively white neighborhood. Though the house was bombed five times by disgruntled neighbors, Binga and his family remained steadfast. In 1929, he built the grand Binga Arcade, with offices, shops and a dance floor, at 35th and State Streets.

The Great Depression of the 1930s as well as racism and jealousy led to the failure of Binga’s businesses.

Accused (many say falsely) and convicted of financial irregularities, Binga began serving a ten-year jail sentence in 1935. Three years later, the petitions of appreciative Bronzeville residents and famed attorney Clarence Darrow secured his release.

Binga’s last years were spent as a janitor and handyman at St. Anselm’s Church. Today the street where Jesse Binga lived is named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That's appropriate. When the street was called South Park Avenue and Binga lived at number 5922, the house became a symbol of the civil rights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

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