Black History--Women of Courage: Maggie Walker

Maggie Walker
Maggie Walker

Maggie Walker's successes and vision offered tangible improvements in the way of life for African Americans and women of all races. When she was 14 years old, Walker joined the council of the Independent Order of St. Luke. This fraternal burial society, established in 1867 in Baltimore, administered to the sick and elderly, promoted humanitarian causes, and encouraged individual self-help and integrity.

In 1902, Walker established a newspaper to promote closer communication between the order and the public. In speeches, she encouraged readers to put their money together and support each other's businesses.

Two years later, she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia. making her the first woman bank president in the United States. The bank thrives today as the oldest continually African American-operated bank in the country.

Maggie Walker, a woman of courage.

Reported by: Dawn Baker,