RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With heads bowed in prayer and other times emotional cheers, a moment first envisioned in the 1930’s and resurrected again 20 years ago is finally a reality at Broad and Adams Streets.
“5, 4, 3, 2, 1,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney counts down to the unveiling of the Maggie L. Walker monument.
“I can assure you, this will be my favorite monument in the City of Richmond,” he says, pumping his fist in the air.
Stoney says this is the first monument ever dedicated to a woman in Richmond.
“She was a staunch community activist, a fraternal leader of national scope, a newspaper editor, an anti-lynching advocate and the first woman of any race to found and charter a bank in America,” explains Walker’s great great granddaughter, Faith Elizabeth Walker Mickens, as a crowd of about 600 people cheers.
Several other members of Walker’s family were in attendance on what would have been her 153rd birthday.
The monument is within walking distance of Walker’s former home and the bank she founded in 1903.
Now that she is standing tall in the Jackson Ward neighborhood, there is a hope she will continue to encourage her race and gender and all who see the statue to pursue a better life.
“To invest in ourselves and to work together to invest in our community,” Mickens said. “Her legacy continues to inspire greatness.”