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Black Wall St. Handbag

Black Wall St. Handbag

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Black Wall St. is most famously known for the thriving prosperous African American community in Tulsa. Ok. However there were many Black Wall Streets, whose main objective was to provide spaces for Africans in America a way from racism and harsh treatment all while practicing cooperative economics.

One such Black Wall Street was called Jackson Ward in Richmond, VA. Which was the home of St. Luke Penny Saving bank founded in 1903 by Maggie Walker. She was the first black woman to be president of a bank in the United States.

Walker stated: "Let us put our money together; let us use our money; let us put our money out at usury among ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves."

In an attempt to encourage deposits by children, Walker distributed penny banks among St. Luke families. Walker hoped the banks would teach children how to save their money and learn the importance of thrift. Once children had one hundred pennies in their bank, they could open an account at the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. As a shrewd businesswoman, Walker also realized that every penny counted and that each deposit opened by a child would help strengthen the bank.

During its long history, the bank founded by Maggie Walker benefited the African American community in Richmond. By 1920, for example, it had issued more than 600 mortgages to black families, allowing many to realize the dream of home ownership. It provided employment for African Americans, giving some a chance to leave the menial, labor intensive jobs to which African Americans were often relegated. More than anything, the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank-turned-Consolidated Bank and Trust was a source of pride for black Richmonders. The bank served as a reminder of the lasting impact that Maggie Walker's vision and perseverance had on an entire community.