An outstanding American, Mrs. Maggie Lena Walker exemplifies the post-Civil War African American determination to build community and defeat American Apartheid. Coming to know her -- in her diverse roles, moods and with her powerful insights-- provides us with a powerful companion and ally.
Head of an African American beneficial order from 1899 to 1934 whose 100,000 members in 24 states in the 1920s, Mrs. Walker distinguished herself as a leader, Race Woman, banker, philanthropist, and activist. Her organization the Independent Order brought together black working class women to resist American Apartheid. This lecture analyzes their written records and architectural analysis of their national headquarters building to appreciate the alternative world these determined women created. This illustrated lecture which raises key issues still too relevant today can be presented to a predominantly academic audience or to a more diverse one.