This is my first Black Beauty Matters blog on Nails I Do Adore Collection. Today is all about the legendary Madam CJ Walker.
Orphaned at age seven, she often said,
“I got my start by giving myself a start.”
She and her older sister, Louvenia, survived by working in the cotton fields of Delta and nearby Vicksburg, Mississippi. At 14, she married Moses McWilliams to escape abuse from her cruel brother-in-law, Jesse Powell.
Her only daughter, Lelia (later known as A’Lelia Walker) was born on June 6, 1885. When her husband died two years later, she moved to St. Louis to join her four brothers who had established themselves as barbers. Working for as little as $1.50 a day, she managed to save enough money to educate her daughter in the city’s public schools. Friendships with other black women who were members of St. Paul A.M.E. Church and the National Association of Colored Women exposed her to a new way of viewing the world.- Source mcjwbeautyculture.com
What You Do Not Know!!!! (10 Facts)
Here’s is what you need to know about the pioneer herself….
-Madam CJ Walker attended Poro College in St. Louis, Mo. It was a beauty school founded by Annie Turnbo Malone (remember her name) (Side Note about Annie Turnbo Malone; Annie was the founder of hair care product line for African Americans; developed business into the Poro System, a network of franchised agent-operators who operated salons under Malone’s guidelines using Poro products. She founded Poro College, 1917, in St. Louis, MO, the first school for the training of beauty culture specialists for African American clientele. She manufactured a line of beauty products for black women and created a unique distribution system that helped tens of thousands of black women gain self respect and economic independence.)
-Madam CJ Walker wasn’t the only member of her family that was affiliated with the Beauty Industry. Her brothers were barbers. Her first job was a washerwoman inside of her brothers barbershop.
-As of today Madam CJ Walker’s products are being sold at Sephora.
-When building Villa LeWaro (which was named after her daughter) in Hudson on Irvington, New York. When the estate was being built, was the richest per capita community in America. There weren’t any other black folks there—or they certainly weren’t welcome—so Walker paid a “black tax,” more than double the going rate, to purchase the land and build the house (cost at the time: approximately $250,000).Villa LeWaro is still standing and currently the home is privately owned by another family. Source- http://demetrialucasdoyley.com/blog/inside-villa-lewaro-the-estate-of-madame-cj-walker-americas-first-self-made-black-female-millionaire
-Madam Walker had 200 schools around the world and Marjorie Stewart Joyner (Remember Her Name) overseer of Madam Walker’s schools.
-It is reported that in 1872 a hairdresser named Marcel Grateau used a pressing comb on his clientele in Paris, who were trying to emulate the straight style of ancient Egyptian hair, but it’s not really known exactly who invented the device. Annie Malone was the first to patent a hot comb. Madame CJ Walker improved upon the comb by widening the teeth for use on black hair.
– Madam CJ Walker’s Great- great granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles Best selling author and former NBC journalist keep her hands busy with keeping her family legacy alive for years to come.
-In World War I the federal government enlisted her to persuade African Americans to support the war effort and to buy war bonds even as it placed her on a list of “Negro subversives” because of her advocacy on behalf of black soldiers who faced racial discrimination. Walker also spoke out on the social conditions affecting African Americans and devoted particular attention and money to the campaign to make lynching a federal crime. – Source: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/walker-madam-c-j-1867-1919#sthash.sR2MuJ4Q.dpuf
-Walker also donated money and time to the NAACP, the National Association of Colored Women, the YMCA, and the YWCA and provided the largest contribution for saving the home of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C. – Source: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/walker-madam-c-j-1867-1919#sthash.sR2MuJ4Q.dpuf
–Vertner Woodson Tandy, the first registered black architect in New York state and one of the seven co-founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Was the architect for Villa LeWaro.
Madam CJ Walker is one of my role models. I absolutely love her story it give me so much hope to become even 1/3 of the person she was. I hope you are amazed by what you learned today next month will be a new pioneer stay tuned to Black Beauty Matters. Polish The World Pretty!!!