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Black History Daily: Who was the 1st Black Female President of a Bank? (7408 hits)

In 1903 Maggie Lena Walker (1865-1934) became the first black woman president on July 28, when she founded the Saint Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia. The bank began as an insurance society in which Walker became active at the time of her marriage in 1886. When she retired due to ill health in 1933, the bank was strong enough to survive the Great Depression, and it is still in existence. The bank had a marked effect on black life in Richmond. Walker urged blacks to save their nickels and dimes, turning them into dollars, and to finance their own homes since white-owned banks would not do so. Walker also became a visible force in other areas. An ardent feminist, she urged women to improve themselves educationally and economically. She fought for women’s suffrage and also worked in voter registration campaigns. She was also an instrument in the formation of the Virginia Lily-Black Republican Party. In March 1902, Walker founded The St. Luke Herald, a newspaper that illuminated black concerns and strengthened communication between the community and the Order of St. Luke, a black organization that dealt with the concerns of the race. The daughter of a former slave washerwoman, she became one of the wealthiest and most influential black women of the early twentieth century. Her spacious home in Richmond has been declared a National Historic Landmark.

To learn more visit: http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Walker...
Posted By: Stacie Coulter
Monday, August 15th 2011 at 3:02PM
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