Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony on Maggie Lena Walker

“A solution's not a solution unless it lasts.”

Maggie Lena Walker was a powerhouse, a brilliant visionary bringing dignity to her community despite the soul-crushing circumstances of the Jim Crow South. An African-American in Richmond, Virginia at the beginning of the 20th Century she was the first woman, of any race, to found and become the President of a bank in the United States. Under her leadership the St. Luke Pennybank and its Benevolent Society helped hundreds of African-American families buy homes, start businesses and weather the financial crisis of the Depression. Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony tells the emotional story of this foremother of hers who lifted the fortunes of multitudes of African-Americans in the Old South, including Shelby’s parents and grandparents. Maggie Lena Walker’s legacy lives on still.


Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony


Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony is VP Creative & Advanced Development for Disney Parks Live Entertainment – a division of the Walt Disney Co. Prior to coming to Disney she held literary staff positions at the New York Shakespeare Festival – Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater and Crossroads Theatre.

Featured Woman

Maggie Lena Walker

Maggie Lena Walker was an African-American teacher and businesswoman. Walker was the first African American woman to charter a bank and serve as its president in the United States. As a leader, she achieved successes with the vision to make tangible improvements in the way of life for African Americans and women. Disabled by paralysis and limited to a wheelchair later in life, Walker also became an example for people with disabilities.