Freedom: Not Just Another Bank

The big squeeze hits minority-owned financial institutions hardest

Rumors of the bank's imminent failure circulated throughout Harlem like a bad dollar bill all weekend. Anxious depositors began lining up outside on 125th Street in Manhattan as early as 5 a.m. last Tuesday, following the Veteran's Day holiday. By 9 a.m. the crowd was chanting, "Save the bank! Save the bank!" But Freedom National Bank was not to be saved. Instead, it became the 155th bank to be closed by the government so far this year. Said a saddened depositor, Joan Carpenter: "It's a shame. This is the only black bank in Harlem, and it shouldn't be allowed to close....

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