It was a day to remember last Saturday as hundreds of people gathered for the unveiling of the Maggie L. Walker statue in the new plaza at Broad and Adams streets in Downtown. The 10-foot bronze statue of the pioneer businesswoman and icon was revealed to fanfare and cheers on what would have been Mrs. Walker’s 153rd birthday. Speakers included city officials, sculptor Antonio “Toby” Mendez and Walker descendants. The new monument to a true hero serves as a gateway to Jackson Ward, where Mrs. Walker’s home, now a National Park Service historic site, is open to the public.
1. Sculptor Antonio “Toby” Mendez, left, assists Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney and Liza Mickens, Mrs. Walker’s great- great-granddaughter in unveiling the statue.
2. Former Mayor Dwight C. Jones, who was instrumental in the city undertaking the statue project, talks with Selena Cuffee- Glenn, Richmond’s chief administrative officer.
3. The jubilant crowd encircles the statue for a closer look and photos after the ceremony.
5. City officials, Walker family members, statue sculptor, arts commission members, National Park Service staff and others embrace after the historic unveiling.
6. Richmond City Councilwoman Kimberly B. Gray holds one of the commemorative fans given out to the crowd in the 90-degree-plus heat.
7. A special T-shirt marking the day hangs in the window at Barky’s Spiritual Store at 18 E. Broad St.
8. Liza Mickens, her brother, Johnny Mickens IV, left, and other Walker descendants greet friends after the ceremony.
9. Melvin S. Jones Jr., a longtime advocate for the Walker statue, holds a giant birthday card honoring Mrs. Walker while Delegate Delores McQuinn, left, signs and Sen. Rosalyn Dance awaits the pen.
10. Clarice Davis, left, and Fontaine Pate, members of the
Maggie L. Walker High School Class of 1965 wear T-shirts made
for the day.
Eye on the ball
Tiffany Smith of Richmond, 6, has her eye on the ball at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Courts in Battery Park. She was among scores of youths who turned out Wednesday, July 12, for the Arthur Ashe Birthday Blast at the park, where they received complimentary tennis lessons and were on hand to celebrate murals created in his honor. A native of Richmond, Mr. Ashe was the first African-American male tennis player to win the U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon. He was also the first African-American male player to be ranked No. 1. Please see more photos on B2.
Summer bloom in the West End
Richmonders of all ages turned out last Wednesday to remember and honor Arthur Ashe, the late Richmond tennis great who would have turned 74 on July 10. The event, held at Battery Park in North Side, featured free tennis lessons for youngsters, sponsored by the Richmond Tennis Association. Another highlight was the unveiling of murals dedicated to the tennis champion at the entryways and inside a pedestrian tunnel that links the park’s basketball and tennis courts. The murals were the project of Sir James Thornhill and a large group of community volunteers.
Sayuri Gholson, 6, receives tennis instruction from James Skinner of Midlothian, a volunteer with the Metro Richmond Tennis Club. Above, park visitors take a peek inside the painted tunnel before the unveiling begins
John Trent and his pet Bennie, right, watch the festivities from the hillside.