Maggie L. Walker Is Honored In Richmond

The Confederacy’s capital to host a memorial to Maggie L. Walker, the first country’s first woman to found a bank.

The Washington post claims that Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who is Black, instead of tearing down the controversial Confederate monuments, wants to add new ones devoted to the heroes who fought against slavery and championed civil rights. Many accuse him of hypocrisy but anyway we can’t help adoring his initiative to memorialize Maggie L. Walker.

She started a newspaper. She was the first country’s first woman to found a bank. She was a humanitarian, a teacher, an icon of her community in 1920s Richmond.

She was also the daughter of a former slave…

“Let us put our moneys together,” Maggie L. Walker said in 1901. “Let us use our moneys; let us put our money out at usury among ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves. Let us have a bank that will take the nickels and turn them into dollars.”

And on Saturday, 153 years to the day she was born in the former capital of the Confederacy, Walker got her own monument, a towering statue of her as she lived — her glasses pinned to her lapel, a checkbook in hand.

“She’s ready to work,” said Antonio “Toby” Mendez, the celebrated Maryland sculptor who brought Walker back to life, 10 feet tall, in bronze. “She wasn’t just raising the bar for her community. She was working to create opportunities.”

“These places bring people together,” Mendez said. “They tell stories that should be told.”

“Children and adults alike need to see the missing pieces of history,” said Gary Flowers, a Richmond resident who helped lead the effort to honor Walker. “We are honored to see Mrs. Walker in her full glory.”

 

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