NEW ORLEANS — On Nov. 16, 1972, Liberty Bank began operations as a community bank out of a construction trailer on Tulane Avenue in New Orleans. With $2 million dollars in assets, more than 2,000 people signed on as Liberty Bank customers that day! Today, 50 years later, Liberty Bank is the largest African American-owned financial institution in the United States with over $1 billion in assets. Liberty has branches in eleven states.
Liberty Bank’s story of resilience, profitability and empowering lending practices will be showcased on Friday, Dec. 2 at Liberty’s “Golden Jubilee” celebration at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. The event is produced by Bright Moments LLC and is directed by celebrated theater icon Tommye Myrick.
Retired TV personalities Norman Robinson and Sally Ann Roberts will narrate this exploration of building Black wealth and prosperity, and the unique role Liberty Bank has played in closing the wealth gap in America. This multi-media event will feature song, dance, spoken word and visual renderings that tell the story of our journey from African slave property to African American institutions worth billions of dollars.
The show is led by the musical arrangements of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Grammy award winner Adonis Rose. Local celebrities featured are Irma Thomas, Leah Chase, Jr., Chase Kamata, Sharon Martin, Phillip Manuel. John Boutte, Tonya Boyd-Cannon, the Mystics, the Franklin Avenue Male Chorus, the C Sharpe Gospel Ensemble, the Kia Knight Dance Ensemble, Stilt Walkers, African Drummers, Harold Evans, Gwendolyn Foxworth, Lady Tambourine, Erica Falls, Peteh the Poet, and a host of others.