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in Richmond, Virginia’s Jackson Ward, he said that he had not,

although he had seen photographs.

“I’m over ninety years old,” he reminded, saying again that he

no longer lived in Richmond.

“When I saw her she was paralyzed, so I never saw her standing

up,” said Reid. “I was delighted to see that the statue shows that

she was a lady of power and standing erect.”

The statue symbolizes the power and dignity of Walker, rising

as a mark on the city of Richmond.

Lydia Freeman is a teacher at KIPP ENC Public Schools in

Gaston, North Carolina where she pushes sixth graders to think

deeply and engage with historical, social and political spheres

while practicing reading and writing. She writes often, engages

deeply in conversation with friends, and strives to live purposefully

in her community.

Later in life, Walker became paralyzed from the waist down

by diabetes that would eventually lead to her death in 1934. To get

into her limousine, she had a platform built from the house into

her garage, where she was helped into the car by her chauffeur,


“Everybody called him Fonzo,” recalled Reid.

At Christmastime, Walker would have Alfonza help her into

that limousine. From there, she would take a pile of dollar bills,

giving one to each of the police officers who were directing the

traffic on Broad Street.

“She’d get in her limo and give each police a dollar,” said Reid.

“A dollar was a lot of money. You could buy almost a whole carton

of cigarettes for a dollar.”

“She was generous,” recounted Reid. “She was an entrepreneur

but her organizations were more like benevolent societies. To

build a building and have a printing press ... it took quite a bit of

doing to do that as a woman in the early 1900s. That’s quite an

accomplishment. She built her own building and employed women,

and a few men. The men ran the printing press, but most of her

clerks were women. She educated her clerks. This was a time when

it was difficult to find work as a woman. She probably employed

more women as clerks than any other business in Richmond.”

Reid was nearly nine when Walker died in December of 1934.

Her funeral, which Reid described as large and well-attended, was

held at Richmond’s First African Baptist Church.

Reid went on to become a surgeon, civil rights leader, and

delegate. Today, he lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. When asked

if he had attended the recent unveiling of Maggie Walker’s statue