Carrie Luetta (nee Pope) Pope Banks was born in Champaign, the daughter of Cecil and Carrie Alice Lee Pope. Carrie attended Gregory School, Champaign Junior High (now Central High School) and Champaign Senior High (now Edison Middle School). She attended the University of Illinois for two years. She married Nathaniel Banks on June 2, 1946. to this union was born three children: Nathaniel C., Deborah and David Banks. Carrie was a stay-at-home Mom until 1962 when her children were at an age that she felt she could work outside the home. She started her career with Illinois Power Company in 1962 and retired in 1987 after 25 years of service. As a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church, Carrie was active in the Choir, the Bethal A.M.E. Lay Organization and the Lou Anna Riley Missionary Society. She was also a member of the Deborah Chapter #27, Order of Eastern Star which was founded by her Grandmother Louetta Smith Lee.

Her mother, a teacher and practical nurse, was born at Urbana, Illinois in 1892 (died 1978). Her father, a musician and forging plant employee, was born at Sidney, Illinois in 1889 (died 1967). She was married to Nathaniel Banks, and they have three children. She attended the University of Illinois from 1940 to 1942. Since 1962 she was been a clerical worker for the Illinois Power Company. She was a member of Bethel AME Church, where she sang in the choir, taught, and was a youth missionary. She was also a member of OES.

Ms. Banks passed away in August 2002.

Carrie was a member of the Champaign County African-American History Committee of the Early American Museum since the first meeting in 1992.

Source: The Black Women in the Middle West Project: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, Illinois and Indiana: Historical Essays, Oral Histories, Biographical Profiles and Document Collections