Madam C. J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker was a businesswoman and philanthropist. She was the first African American woman in the United States to make a million dollars.
Sarah Breedlove was born December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana. She was born in a very poor family and had a sister and five brothers. Her parents and older children were slaves on the plantation of Robert W. Bernie. Sarah was the first child born free thanks to Emancipation Proclamation. The girl did not go to school because she worked from morning till night in the cotton fields. Her parents died when Sarah was seven years old.
She went to Mississippi to live with her married sister. Sarah had bad relationship with her sister’s husband and at the age of 14 she married Moses McWilliams. A few years later, she gave birth to her daughter Lelia. Her husband died when Sarah was only 20 years old.
She moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she washed clothes.
At the age of 38 her hair began to fall out. She tried different things but nothing helped. One night she had a dream about what to mix up and use for her hair. It worked! She began to sell her new hair product. Soon she had her own business.
In 1906, Sarah married Charles Joseph Walker and opened several beauty shops under the name of Madam C. J. Walker.
In 1910, she built a factory to make hair care products and face creams.
Some years later her company became the most successful African American-owned business in the United States.
Sarah gave a lot of money to charity.
Madam Walker died on May 25, 1919 at the age of 52. After the death of Sarah, her daughter became a head of Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company.
In 1990, Sarah was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame in Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
In 1993, her name appeared in the list of the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.