Richmond, Virginia was the home of several sets of Omega Men who were biological brothers. Last week we presented to some and introduced to others, Brother Francis Merrill Foster, Sr. This week on our walk through The Ward, we do the same for two of his five biological brothers who were also Omega men. Brothers Richard “Dick” and Wilbert “Skip” Foster, who both grew up in the Jackson Ward section of downtown Richmond, Virginia, graduated from the historic Armstrong High School, and were initiated in Zeta Chapter on the campus of Virginia Union University.
Following their graduation from Virginia Union, the Foster Brothers were beneficiaries of a racially driven education policy in the Commonwealth of Virginia known as the Dovell Act of 1935. The Virginia General Assembly enacted the policy (1935 to 1961), to pay full out-of-state tuition for Black students seeking advanced degrees, rather than desegregate state colleges and universities.
Brother “Dick” Foster earned an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, and returned to Richmond as the CEO of the Black-owned Virginia Mutual Insurance Company in Jackson Ward. Known for his keen business acumen, Brother Foster guided Virginia Mutual from the late 1950’s to 1970.
Brother “Skip” Foster earned his M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and returned to Richmond to manage the Teacher’s Credit Union, located in the Virginia Mutual Insurance Company. Brother “Skip” used his intellect and finance training to transform money management skills among Black educators in Richmond, the result of which was a stronger Black middle class who were well invested in the stock market and other financial growth institutions.
The Foster Brothers continued the tradition of “Black Wall Street” on 2nd Street in Richmond, Virginia.
Since sending the information on Brother Francis Foster last week, we stumbled on the attached joint resolution passed by the Virginia House of Delegates and Virginia Senate upon Brother Foster’s passing.
Thank you once again for Walking the Ward with us.
Make it a great week Brothers. Be noble!
3rd District History and Archives Committee
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