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Bank of Finance groundbreaking
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Curtis, Rolland J
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Rolland Joseph 'Speedy' Curtis was born in Louisiana in 1922. After serving three years in the Marines during World War II, he and his wife, Gloria, relocated from New Orleans to Los Angeles in 1946. Curtis served for four years with the Los Angeles Police Department, but resigned from the force in order to pursue both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from USC. He later became involved in city politics, as an associate of Sam Yorty, and later a field deputy to City Council members Billy Mills and Tom Bradley. He was briefly director of the Model Cities program in 1973. Rolland J. Curtis died in his home in 1979, the victim of a homicide. An affordable housing complex on Exposition Blvd. near Vermont Ave. was named in his honor in 1981, along with a nearby street and park.; The Bank of Finance was the first African American organized bank in California. Opened in 1964, it catered to small businesses in the community. During its time, it nursed local businesses to fruition and provided financial assistance for necessary community resources like medical centers, day cares, and homes for the elderly. Members of the organizing committee included Dr. Edward H. Ballard, Dr. Perry W. Beal, Wilton A. Clarke, Onie B. Granville, Mrs. Bernice M. Malbrue, Tom Bradley and Lorenzo V. Spencer. Both the bank building at 2651 S. Western Avenue and a branch opened at 8420 S. Vermont in 1968 have since been demolished.
Councilman Tom Bradley delivers remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Bank of Finance building at 2651 S. Western Boulevard on January 5, 1964. Seated behind Bradley, in the front row on the left, are Bank of Finance organizing committee members, Dr. Perry W. Beal and Wilton A. Clark, and on the right are the bank's president, Joseph Batten, and vice president, Nivelle Beaubien. Photograph dated 1964. See images 00120160 through 00120172; and 00138686 through 00138688 for additional photos in this series.
1 negative : safety ; 10 x 13 cm.
Photographic safety negatives
Rolland J. Curtis Collection
Bradley, Tom,--1917-1998
Bank of Finance (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Ground breaking ceremonies
Building sites
Banks and banking
African American banks
African American bankers
Bank directors
Bank employees
City council members
African American politicians
African American business people
African Americans
African American men
African American women
Public speaking
South Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Time Period
Curtis, Gloria

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