Black History Month is a time of celebration and recognition of the history, achievements, and influence of the Black community.

While we hope this spirit of recognition isn’t limited to one month, we wanted to take this opportunity to honor a few of the many lives through Black History that helped pioneer the financial industry – paving the way for future generations to come.

Maggie Lena Walker (image 1): The first woman and first Black women to establish and serve as president of a bank in the United States in 1903. The bank is still in operation as the oldest continuously operated African American-owned bank in the U.S.

O.W. Gurley (image 2): A Founder of the Greenwood district, also known as “Black Wall Street.” Gurley ran many businesses of his own and supported other entrepreneurs in their business endeavors.  Tragically, the town was devastated in 1921 during the 18-hour Tulsa Race Massacre.

Lilla St. John (image 3): 25 years old – mother of two, was the first Black women to pass the New York Stock Exchange exam for financial advisors in 1953.