Inspirational Women of Virginia

Influential Women who Helped Shape this Great Commonwealth


Born into slavery, Maggie Lena Walker is the first African American woman to charter a bank in Virginia, a bank that exists today. The Consolidated Bank and Trust was the oldest continually owned African American bank in the United States until 2005 when it was sold to a white majority ownership. At its inception, the bank served an almost exclusively African American customer base, many of them former slaves.

Walker was an educator until she found her true calling as a crusader dedicated to the educational and financial advancement of African Americans, fulfilling the mission of the Order of St. Luke. She started a newspaper and opened a department store, but it is the bank which stood out as her most enduring achievement, making her an architect of the Post Bellum South and one of Virginias most influential women.

Learn more about Maggie Walker here…