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During the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month which serves to bring awareness, education, understanding and the journey of persons of African Descent. As people of faith we hope this month will provide an opportunity for us to experience Black History from new perspectives and an understanding that Black History is Everyone’s History.

 

Black History is more than a recognition of past icons in Black Culture: it is an ongoing celebration of all achievements and positive contributions to society. It is also a recognition of the long and painful experience of Black people in America and the obstacles many have endured and overcome.

 

Please join us each Sunday in February as we highlight the ministry and work done by peoples of African descent within our community and throughout our world. Be sure to return to this page in the days ahead for a complete list of honorees.

February 2019

Sunday, February 3, 2019
Rosa Parks

Selected words from Rosa Parks:

 

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

 

Each person must live their life as a model for others.

 

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free.

 

All I was doing was trying to get home from work.

 

I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.

 

Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955, Rosa helped initiate the civil rights movement. The leaders of the local black community organized a bus boycott that began the day Rosa was convicted of violating the segregation laws. The boycott lasted more than a year … during which Rosa coincidentally lost her job as a seamstress … and ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Over the next half-century, Rosa Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation.

 

The United States Congress has called her the first lady of civil rights and the mother of the freedom movement.

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Maggie Walker

The Legacy of Maggie Walker changed the fabric of society for people of African descent and for women.

 

Maggie Lena Mitchell was born in Richmond on July 15, 1864. As a young girl she was forced to take on a number of responsibilities after the tragic death of her father. Maggie worked as a delivery woman and babysitter while attending segregated public schools in Richmond and graduated at the very top of her class in 1883. She then taught grade school for three years at the Lancaster School, at the same time she took classes in accounting and business. In 1886, Maggie married Armistead Walker, Jr., they had two sons, Russell and Melvin, whom she took care while her husband worked.

 

At the turn of the century, Maggie Walker was one of the foremost business leaders gaining national prominence when she became the first woman to own a bank in the United States. Her entrepreneurial skills transformed black business practices while also inspiring other women to enter the field.

 

When she was 14, Maggie joined the Independent Order of St. Luke’s, an African American benevolent organization that helped the sick and elderly in Richmond. Within the organization, she held many high-ranking positions. In 1902, she began publishing the organization’s newspaper, The St. Luke Herald. She encouraged African Americans in Richmond to harness their economic power by establishing their own institutions through the newspaper.

 

Maggie Walker’s first business endeavor was a community insurance company for women. In 1903, she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and was the first woman of any race to charter a bank in the United States. The bank was a powerful representation of black self-help in the segregated South. The Penny Savings Bank not only attracted adults but Maggie Walker worked to appeal to children by passing out banks which encouraged them to save their money.

 

By 1924, the Penny Savings Bank had spread to other parts of Virginia and included more than 50,000 members. While other banks collapsed during the Great Depression St. Luke’s Penny Saving survived. The bank eventually consolidated with two other large banks and moved to downtown Richmond. It is still in operation today.

Sunday, February 17, 2019
Maya Angelou

The Legacy of Maggie Walker changed the fabric of society for people of African descent and for women.

 

Maggie Lena Mitchell was born in Richmond on July 15, 1864. As a young girl she was forced to take on a number of responsibilities after the tragic death of her father. Maggie worked as a delivery woman and babysitter while attending segregated public schools in Richmond and graduated at the very top of her class in 1883. She then taught grade school for three years at the Lancaster School, at the same time she took classes in accounting and business. In 1886, Maggie married Armistead Walker, Jr., they had two sons, Russell and Melvin, whom she took care while her husband worked.

 

At the turn of the century, Maggie Walker was one of the foremost business leaders gaining national prominence when she became the first woman to own a bank in the United States. Her entrepreneurial skills transformed black business practices while also inspiring other women to enter the field.

 

When she was 14, Maggie joined the Independent Order of St. Luke’s, an African American benevolent organization that helped the sick and elderly in Richmond. Within the organization, she held many high-ranking positions. In 1902, she began publishing the organization’s newspaper, The St. Luke Herald. She encouraged African Americans in Richmond to harness their economic power by establishing their own institutions through the newspaper.

 

Maggie Walker’s first business endeavor was a community insurance company for women. In 1903, she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and was the first woman of any race to charter a bank in the United States. The bank was a powerful representation of black self-help in the segregated South. The Penny Savings Bank not only attracted adults but Maggie Walker worked to appeal to children by passing out banks which encouraged them to save their money.

 

By 1924, the Penny Savings Bank had spread to other parts of Virginia and included more than 50,000 members. While other banks collapsed during the Great Depression St. Luke’s Penny Saving survived. The bank eventually consolidated with two other large banks and moved to downtown Richmond. It is still in operation today.

February 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018
Odette Johnson
First LGBTQ Liaison
for the Richmond Police Department

Click here to view the Odette's bio.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Dr. Barbara Morris Glenn
Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Click here to view the Dr. Glenn's bio.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Congressman A. Donald McEachin
4th Congressional District of Virginia
Click here to view the Congressman's bio.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Carol Adams
Founder of the
Carol Adams Foundation
Click here to view Carol's bio.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Alfred Durham
Chief of Police
Richmond Police Department
Richmond, Virginia
Click here to view Chief Durham's bio.

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