Exploring Durham

Parrish Street
Feb. 16, 2013 @ 06:22 PM

Durham’s role in African-American history is well known, and the strides that were made in Durham crossed many lines to foster equality in many ways. One of the lesser known is in business.

Parrish Street is known as Black Wall Street because in the early 1900s African-American businesses prospered on this street. NC Mutual Life Insurance and Mechanics and Farmers Bank both operated here. The street also figured largely in the Civil Rights Movement with several sit-ins occurring there.

Today, Parrish Street is home to several new businesses that reflect Durham’s vibrant food and arts culture. Mechanics and Farmers Bank still has a branch there, and there is now a community and cultural center called The Parrish Street Forum that offers a window on the history and those who made it, as well as event and meeting space.

Insider Tip: See six bronze sculptures along Parrish Street, each an historical marker on a different theme.

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) is Durham’s official marketing agency. For more information about things to see and do in Durham, visit www.Durham-NC.com and www.DurhamEventCalendar.com, or stop by the Visitors Information Center at 101. E. Morgan St. in Downtown Durham and pick up the Official Durham Visitor & Relocation Guide.