African-American Bank Going Strong a Century Along

Bank has served community for 102 years

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    As bailouts abound, a black-owned bank remains strong after 102 years.

    An African-American-owned bank is celebrating 102 years of service to the community.

    Mechanics and Farmers Bank, based in Durham, N.C., was founded by doctors, teachers and business leaders in 1907 -- a time when African-Americans had no safe place to keep their cash. They were shut out of banking, making loans or buying homes. The bank paved the way for new homes, churches and other economic growth.

    M&F Bank has withstood the worst economic cycles and the Great Depression and remains a healthy financial institution.

    "Can you imagine during the Great Depression, like now, banks failing, banks needing bailouts, and you go into a branch and they say, 'Your money's here. It's OK, it's safe?'" said Kim Saunders, the president and CEO.

    In those days, they even put the money out so people could see it and know that it was safe.