Madam Walker Biography

Decent Essays
Madam C.J. Walker, originally named Sarah Breedlove, was the first African-American woman to be a self-made millionaire. Madam Walker was a Louisiana native, born on a humble cotton field on December 23, 1867, to Owen and Minerva Breedlove. She was the first, out her three siblings, to be born free. Throughout her early life, Walker went through many hardships. At the age of seven, her parents died from yellow fever leaving her orphaned (Citation). In result of their tough situation, she and her older sister moved to Mississippi where they worked as laundry women. She then got married at the age of fourteen to Moses McWalker, who died two years later after her first daughter was born. As a single parent, she headed up North to St. Louis where …show more content…
One day, her hair started to fall out due to scalp disease. The appearance of her hair left her dissatisfied. In St. Louis, Walker recognized that the women with the long flowing locks were usually in a higher social standard. She realized that if she needed to get a job and move higher up in success, she had to look her best. This led her to inventing her own hair loss formula for African-American women. Later, through time and hard work, her development of cosmetic products ended up becoming into one of the nation’s largest black companies. Her success also made her the first black self-made millionaire during the Jim Crow era (Dingle). Madame C.J. Walker pioneered the African-American Cosmetics Industry and positively influenced lives of African-American women through her inspiring motivation, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and efforts as a political …show more content…
From her stressful experience she was able to motivate herself to solve her problems, earn money, and manage to share it with others who were suffering as well. It influenced lives African-American women because their homes lacked plumbing and electricity. Therefore, like Madam Walker, they were washing their hair once a month (Menzel). As a result, dandruff accumulated in their scalp and led to rapid hair loss. Madam Walker made it so that more women could have access to a product that would their grow hair and self-esteem. Another example of her motivational character was at her million dollar break through that occurred later on in her entrepreneurship. 1911 and 1917 was her most successful highlight of her career when she became the first African-American female millionaire (Bundles). Her success and fame motivated her to promote her product through lectures and speeches about her struggles and hard work as a business woman. This inspired women to create their own businesses for success and for benefitting the black societies. The also promoted the idea of her products as a self-improvement to a black women. Black women were now able to feel proud and confident about their hair and appearance. Her products really aided in blacks being accepted in the main stream white society. It was important that African-American women have access to financial

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