Daniel Freedman

Name: Daniel Freedman d. 11/25/1926 age 53,

Family: Wife, Minnie and children, Israel, Mary, Sarah, Jacob, Lena, David and Sam

Freedman came from Vidzh, Lithuania. He was one of several Jewish shopkeepers who owned stores in Hayti, Durham’s African-American neighborhood. According to Jewish Historian Leonard Rogoff, they were the only whites who lived in the neighborhood. Not only did these store owners serve the African-American community, but in turn, they were served. Black businessmen in 1908 founded the Mechanics and Farmers Bank. This became the only bank that extended credit to the Hayti grocers, as anti-Semitism had permeated the banking industry.

Freedman’s children all worked in his store D. Freedman, he had opened up after being an itinerant peddler. The store mainly sold work clothers and many of the customers were Liggett and Meyer factory workers or farmers. His sons eventually took over the store. Jacob Katz, a cousin, was also part of the store and was involved in the shoe department Israel Freedman left the business and eventually started his own business The Young Men’s Shop. The granddaughters and in-laws were also involved. Ceevah Sobel, a granddaughter, remembers that she, her sisters and her mother would work in D. Freedman for the holidays. Daniel apparently fixed up his son, Jake, with a woman from Brooklyn who had gone to a fine arts program at Cooper Union. This woman “drew well”, but in Durham she was usually running the cash register at D. Freedman’s.

When he died in 1926, his holdings were valued at $46,500.