In a summer that otherwise will be long remembered for racial conflict and the tearing down of divisive symbols of the past, the recent dedication of a statue in Virginia to the historic banker Maggie Walker was better timed than any of its organizers could have imagined.

Walker founded St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in 1903, a time when institutionalized prejudice prevented most African-Americans from borrowing money. Walker understood the importance of having a black-owned bank in a black community to keep money in their own hands and gain economic empowerment.

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