Our team is thrilled to announce that we have received funding from Virginia Humanities, Virginia's state humanities council. Virginia Humanities connects people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. This funding will support the research and production of our episode about the first female bank President, Maggie Lena Walker. We’re very excited to share her story, which you can learn a little bit more about below:
Maggie Lena Walker (1864-1934), an African American teacher and businesswoman, became the first female bank president when she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, VA. As a community leader and entrepreneur, she worked to make tangible improvements in the lives of African Americans and women. At a time when white banks did not readily accept deposits from black customers, Walker not only grew her bank, but grew the economic base of black Richmond by financing over 600 home loans for black families by 1920. She also served as editor-in-chief of a local newspaper, ran a department store and a nationwide insurance system.