The panel discussion will be divided into three parts:
5:30pm - Going Beyond Self-Care
6:00pm - The Black Experience from Past to Present
6:30pm - The Changing Landscape of Representation
We hope to see you there! Chicago Southsider founder, Charlene Rhinehart, will serve on "The Changing Landscape of Representation" panel. She is excited to take the audience behind the scenes of some of Chicago's hidden wealth creators.
Jesse Binga came to Chicago in 1893 with $10 in his pockets. A few years later, he started a real estate business around 33rd and State Street. By the 1920s, he was a prominent businessman, banker, and real estate mogul.
Binga founded the first Black-owned private bank in Chicago, Binga State Bank, in 1921. According to BlackPast, Binga's bank started with over $200,000 in deposits and grew to over $1.3 million within three years. The bank was closed down in 1930, and Binga lost his wealth after a series of unfortunate events.
During the Great Depression, Binga completed the construction for the Binga Arcade, a luxurious five story office block with a roof-top ballroom on 35th and State Street. This building was purchased by Illinois Institute of Technology in 1952.
Most of Binga's success and hardships took place around his South Side home on 5922 South Parkway Blvd. (now 5922 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.)
Arthur J. Wilson became a Certified Public Accountant in 1923, becoming just the second African American to earn a CPA in the United States, after John Wesley Cromwell Jr.
Wilson led the way as the first Black CPA in Illinois before the state changed their licensing requirements in 1927. He worked as a cashier and vice president at Binga State Bank.
Mary T. Washington Wylie became the first Black woman Certified Public Accountant in 1943. She was the 13th person in the country to earn the coveted designation. Before her history-making moment, she worked at Chicago's Douglas National Bank and Binga State Bank. She served as an assistant to Arthur J. Wilson while at Binga State Bank.
In 1939, Wylie started her own accounting firm, Mary T Washington & Co. which transformed into Washington, Pittman & McKeever, LLC in 1976. She provided Chicago's Black businesses and residents with accounting and tax services. In 1941, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in business from Northwestern University.
Sam Fuller arrived in Chicago in 1928. He became the Founder of cosmetics firm Fuller Products Company. Fuller's business was able to take advantage of the influx of Blacks who were migrating to the north. Since many establishments wee segregated, more Blacks were able to spend money at South Side businesses like Fuller Products Company.
Fuller sought out the services of Mary T. Washington Wylie to help manage the financials of his growing enterprise. He rented office space out to Wylie and gave her $100 weekly checks for 35 years. This served as the foundation of Mary T. Washington Wylie's business income.
In addition to establishing Fuller Products Company, Mr. Fuller became publisher of the New York Age and Pittsburgh Carrier. He was also president of the National Negro Business League and head of the South Side Chicago chapter of the NAACP.
Who should we feature for Black Histoy Month? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Dr. King once said, "This day we must declare our own Emancipation Proclamation." Well, that's exactly what we plan to do.
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