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Maggie Walker’s great-grandson elated ahead of monument reveal

RICHMOND, Va. – A chapter of Richmond's long history will be revealed on July 15, at the public commemoration of the Maggie Walker statue.

"Just sitting here looking at how they captured the history of her life...is touching,” said Dr. Johnny Mickens III, the great-grandson of Maggie Walker.

The city will unveil the monument of Walker, a Richmond icon and entrepreneur, on what would have been her 153rd birthday.

Dr. Johnny Mickens III, the great-grandson of Maggie Walker.

The Richmond business woman knew the value of a dollar and was the first African-American woman to open a bank in the United States, in 1903.

"When you think about the time, you kind of think that it's almost impossible,” Mickens said.

Her grandson said the memorial has been nearly 20 years in the making

"I'm elated; I'm elated,” he said. “It's been a long battle."

The Maggie Walker statue will be unveiled on her birthday

The statue of Maggie Lena Walker will take her place downtown at Broad and Adams Street, a gateway to the Jackson Ward neighborhood where many of her life accomplishments occurred.

"It means that a person who persevered through Jim Crow days make major accomplishments that people tried to turn around,” Mickens said.

Maggie Walker

As President and Founder of the Saint Luke Penny Savings, Walker pushed for economic empowerment and independence in her community.

"I mean they had the reformers bank and several other black banks,” Mickens said. “But for a woman to do it was kind of unheard of at the time.

The statue is an investment that Walker's descendants said will mean much more for years to come.

"It's going to be a momentous occasion, that's all I can say,” Mickens said. “And every time I pass it, it will be.”