A Slow Walk up Wall Street for Blacks

Author Gregory Bell discusses their history in capitalism's citadel, the opportunities today, and what the future holds

Few Americans know that black slaves helped build the wall after which Wall Street -- the narrow thoroughfare that cuts through New York's financial district -- is named, says author Gregory Bell in his book, In the Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street (John Wiley & Sons, 2002). The log wall that the Dutch had raised in the mid-17th century to fend of the British is long gone. But history confirms the early involvement of blacks in shaping Wall Street, Bell says.

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