The child of an African-American servant and a Confederate soldier, Maggie Lena Walker (1864-1934) overcame racial and gender barriers in Richmond, Virginia, during the Jim Crow era (1876-1965).

Mrs. Walker’s charismatic leadership within Richmond’s black business community and her dedication to such national advocacy groups as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons (NAACP) and the Urban League secured her legacy as one of America’s civil rights pioneers. As Right Worthy Grand Secretary Treasurer of the Independent Order of Saint Luke (IOSL), Walker assisted in chartering a bank and establishing a newspaper and a general mercantile store in the first decade of the 20th century.

This fixed fan commemorates the grand opening of the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site as a museum in 1985.


  • Title: Hand Fan
  • Date: 1985
  • Location: Richmond, VA
  • Provenance: Valentine Richmond History Center Collection, 2007
  • Type: Paper, wood

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