Black History Month and Credit Unions

Black History Is Credit Union History

February 17, 2022 | White Rose Credit Union | Black History Month

February is Black History Month! As the month reminds us to pause and recognize many Black contributions to our stories, it is important to note the ties between credit unions and Black History.

In 1918, Thomas B. Patterson established the Piedmont Credit Union of Landis, in North Carolina, the first African American Credit Union. The credit union gave lending opportunities to local farmers and created educational opportunities to improve the financial well-being of the communities it supported.

The philosophy of credit unions was existent within the U.S. civil rights movement. The idea of people helping people and offering banking services to underserved areas was a theme carried by Martin Luther King Jr. himself. In fact, King, along with the Montgomery Improvement Association even applied for a credit union charter in 1950. The initiative was unfortunately not approved due to plans that involved a field of membership that was too large.

In 1999, the African American Credit Union was established to support Black leaders in the credit union movement. Their mission today is “To increase diversity within the credit union community through advocacy and professional development.” The organization promotes diversity and the push for financial literacy in all communities.

Black history remains a staple of the events right here in our hometown. Our Downtown Branch, on East Philadelphia Street is said to have even been a part of the underground railroad.

Here are a few ways you can honor black history month right here in York:

As we continue to celebrate the many contributions of Black History, credit unions will continue to pave the way for financial wellness and financial equality for all.

Sources: CUInsight,


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