Richmond, Virginia is one of several cities trying to bring balance and context to the monuments of its confederate past. 88.9 WCVE’s Saraya Wintersmith reports on Saturday (7/15), the city unveiled a monument to the first woman to found and charter a bank in the U.S.
Maggie Lena Walker was the daughter of a former slave.
On what would’ve been her 153rd birthday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney told hundreds of on-lookers at the new memorial plaza, she held many roles and grew to become a city icon.
“Business woman, community leader, newspaper publisher and the first female bank president in our nation’s history was a homegrown American hero,” he said to applause.
Moments before unveiling the 10-foot bronze depiction of the activist and business woman, Mayor Stoney described Maggie Lena Walker as the city’s “greatest statement of excellence and resilience.”
The new statute marks the first time the city of Richmond dedicated one wholly to a woman on a city street. National Park Service Superintendent David Ruth described the piece as a welcome addition to the city’s commemorative landscape. “This city is dotted with public shrines to Virginia’s exhalted sons and today we can proudly say that one of her esteemed daughters too.”
The Maggie Walker Memorial Plaza is located at the corner of Broad and Adams Streets.
More Images from the Maggie Lena Walker Monument Unveiling
Photos: Saraya Wintersmith, 88.9 WCVE News