Interview with Dr. John O. Brown

What were you saying that the Black community was economically isolated. Do you have any kind of illustration of how that manifested?


Ah, I'm not so sure that I can illustrate how that, the isolation, the economic isolation, ah, the Black community is really, was just isolated from all areas of the country. I mean if you got, ah, north of Tallahassee, back in those days, you were way up north. And, ah, we didn't have, we didn't have the economics, ah, the economic potential here. I would like to tell this one story about housing. When I came in, here I was, considering myself a new doctor with all sorts of potential for economic advancement. And I need, had to buy a home for my wife and four children. And I was told in no uncertain terms by three banks here in Miami that we will give you six thousand dollars to buy a home and that is all you're going to get. Now, six thousand dollars was a lot more at that time than it is now but it still didn't mean anything when the house that you want to buy was 18 or 20 thousand dollars. It meant that you would have to get a second mortgage. First mortgages were going around 6 percent at that time but the second for about 20 years and then a second mortgage would be about 12 to 14 percent and would, the money would come due in about three years. So, you were really being exploited. I was told in no uncertain terms that this was the only amount of money that they would let me have. They didn't care what kind of profession I was in or what the potential was. And of course I sort of by-passed that because we have family interests and, and insurance company in Atlanta and they said we will give you the money that you need.