The first woman to start a bank — a black woman — finally gets her due in the Confederacy’s capital

By | July 17, 2017

Maggie L. Walker 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.

Walker’s accomplishments in the face of racial oppression and segregation have never been honored in her hometown in the same way as the Confederate leaders whose statues are the focal point of downtown Richmond.

But on Saturday, 153 years to the day she was born in the former capital of the Confederacy, Walker will get 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.” (Washington Post)

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