Author: Muriel Miller Branch

an author and educator. She is the coauthor of two children's books on Maggie Walker, the former president of the Maggie L. Walker Historical Foundation, and has represented the Maggie Walker National Historic Site on the Mid-Atlantic Council of the National Park Service

Maggie Lena Walker (1864–1934)

Maggie Lena Walker was an African American entrepreneur and civic leader who broke traditional gender and discriminatory laws by becoming the first Black woman to establish and become president of a bank in the United States—the Saint Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond. As of 2010, when it was known as Consolidated Bank and Trust Company, it was the oldest continually African American–operated bank in the United States. In her role as grand secretary of the Independent Order of Saint Luke, Walker also was indispensable in organizing a variety of enterprises that advanced the African American community while expanding the public role of women. Although as an African American woman in the post–Civil War South she faced social, economic, and political barriers in her life and business ventures, Walker, by encouraging investment and collective action, achieved tangible improvements for African Americans.