In 1903, Maggie Lena Walker became the first black woman to found an American bank when she opened the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia, as the bank’s first female president. In a classic rerun episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, sponsored by xChange — historian Shennette Garrett-Scott tells the story of Walker and her mission to help Black women find financial empowerment and career opportunities.
Garrett-Scott, the author of Betting on Freedom: Black Women in American Finance Before the New Dealdiscusses:
- How Walker countered impressions that black women were exceptionally risky bank clients.
- The broader context of African American banks and what sets Walker’s St. Luke Bank apart.
- Relations between black banks and mutual aid societies and fraternal organizations like the Independent Order of Saint Luke.
- How newly professionalized Progressive Era financial regulators hurdled black-owned banks and insurers.
- St. Luke Bank’s relationships with white-owned banks in Richmond and elsewhere.
If you can’t see the audio player above, Click here to listen to this episode.
This episode is sponsored by xChange.
Leave a Reply