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Friday, February 24, 2017

THE GRIO WROTE ABOUT the demise of Seaway National Bank earlier this month. Seaway barely got any coverage when it failed whether locally or nationally. Why should this be significant with Seaway at one point being the sixth largest Black-owned bank in the nation.
Big banks are less likely than black-owned banks to approve mortgage applications for blacks than other racial groups. In fact, a Time article written last year shows that the approved mortgage applications for African-Americans are only 5.3 percent, down from 7.8 percent in 2007. Without approval on mortgages, it makes it tough for blacks to own property within their own community. It also makes it much more difficult for our community to rebuild new schools, stores, and other black-owned spaces needed to propel our community forward.

Black-owned banks are more likely to be in urban communities. They are also more likely to hire black employees and to support and lend money to help start black-owned businesses.

Seaway Bank was no different. It was established in 1965 to counter discriminatory lending practices and was once recognized as one of the largest minority-owned banks, employing over 200 people. Since the 60’s, it was a staple on the Southside of Chicago nestled along 87th Street.
Finally there's this:
 Collectively, there may have been a chance for our community to do something about this, but unfortunately, not enough of us knew about it in time to do so. This is a problem that has kept us on the defense rather than offense for far too long.
And again I will just as easily point the finger at Seaway Bank's management. Perhaps the alarm should've been sounded long before the collapse. There were attempts to save the bank that were publicized last summer unfortunately it appears they didn't like what they saw.

I'm glad to have preserved this post from Seaway's now deactivated IG account. The many founders and organizers of Seaway even if they're no longer with us are surely disappointed in this outcome. The Seaway brand is now owned by people from outside of the community.