Armstrong-Walker Classic Legacy
12/3/2021, 12:14 p.m.
We congratulate the organizers of the Armstrong-Walker Classic Legacy who brought a great deal of cheer to Richmond with last Saturday’s successful parade, tailgate and football games.
The event spawned a wave of pride coupled with nostalgia for the strong foundations and friendships built at Maggie L. Walker and Armstrong high schools and the long-standing friendly rivalry between the two schools that drew thousands each year to the annual football matchup and parade at City Stadium from 1938 to 1978.
We enjoyed seeing the former football players, cheerleaders and homecoming queens who continue to play vital and contributing roles in the lives of their families, their communities and the metro region’s workforce as they age gracefully.
We were surprised, puzzled and disappointed by the absence of the honorary grand marshals of the event, former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a 1947 graduate of Armstrong High School, and NFL Hall of Famer Willie Lanier, a 1963 graduate of Maggie L. Walker High School. Their presence would have added an inspiring element for the many young people who lined the parade route, marched with many of the parade units and/or participated in the youth football games.
We thank the organizing committee for their vision and hard work to make the Armstrong-Walker Classic Legacy a reality, and the City of Richmond for participating, along with Virginia Union University, which hosted the tailgate and the football games on its campus.
The day embodied the spirit of Sankofa, offering a time to both look back and look ahead. Surely, dampened by the long stretch of the pandemics of COVID-19, racial injustice and gun violence, the Richmond community sorely needed an uplifting event of celebration, happiness and unity.
We also hope the spirit fostered by the legacy event will provide the impetus we need to collectively deal with the issues facing our community and our young people. The spirit of the past can have a profound influence on the steps we take in the present and in shaping our future. For the sake of the children and grandchildren in our community, we hope these steps are positive.