Welcome back to Nails I Do Adore Collection Black Beauty Matters Blog. I am so excited do another Black Beauty Matters Blog This Month. Today is all about Annie Turnbo Malone. Let’s get started on her life and legacy.
| Malone is recorded as one of America’s first black female millionaire based on reports about her beauty and cosmetic enterprises — Poro — headquartered in St. Louis and Chicago
Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone (August 9, 1869—May 10, 1957) was an African-American businesswoman, educator, inventor and philanthropist. Annie was two years younger than Madam C. J. Walker. She had launched her hair care business four years before Sarah Breedlove (later known as Madam C. J. Walker). In the early 1900s Madam Walker worked as a “Poro Agent” for Annie for about one year.
While in Peoria, Malone took an early interest in hair textures. In the 1890s — being a lover of styling hair — Annie began to envision a way of straightening hair without having to use the methods of old which included using soap, goose fat, heavy oils, butter and bacon grease or the carding combs of sheep. She’d also witnessed method of hair straightening which employed lye sometimes mixed with potatoes, but was turned off by the procedure because it often resulted in damaged scalps and broken hair follicles.
Coupled with the influence of her aunt who was an herbal doctor and her knowledge of Chemistry, Annie Turnbo developed a chemical which could be used to straighten hair without causing damage to the hair or scalp. By the time she was in her late 20′s, Turnbo had developed a straightening solution which would grant her entry into the annuals of hair care history.
Bythe beginning of the 1900s, Annie Malone began to revolutionize hair care methods for all African Americans. Armed with this revolutionary formula and a product she called “The Great Wonderful Hair Grower,” Annie moved to St. Louis in 1902. She hired some assistants and began selling her products door-to-door. Word of her products and teaching method spread like wild fire and soon her products and her “Poro Method” of styling hair were a success.
Malone believed that if African American women improved their physical appearance, they would gain greater self-respect and achieve success in other areas of their lives.
This Is What You Do Not Know About Annie Turnbo Malone… 10 Facts!
✂ Annie Turnbo Malone is considered the Mother of the African American Cosmetics, Hair Care, & Beauty Industries.
✂ First to own a Rolls Royce in Missouri.
✂Annie Turnbo Malone owned a city block in Chicago.
✂A $25,000 donation from Malone helped build the St. Louis Colored YWCA.
✂She is one of America’s first major black philanthropists.
✂From 1919 to 1943, Malone served as board president of the St. Louis Colored Orphan’s Home. During this time she raised most of the orphanage’s construction costs. She had donated the first $10,000 to build the orphanage’s new building in 1919 (below). With her help, in 1922 it bought a facility at 2612 Annie Malone Drive (formally Goode Ave.) It continues to serve from the historic Ville neighborhood. Upgraded and expanded, the facility was renamed in her honor as the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center in 1946.
✂Poro College was the first educational institution in the United States dedicated to the study and teaching of black cosmetology. The school reportedly graduated over 75,000 agents world-wide, including the Caribbean.
✂Malone was very generous with family and employees. She educated many of her nieces and nephews and bought homes for her brothers and sisters. She awarded employees with lavish gifts for attendance, punctuality, service anniversaries, and as rewards for investing in real estate.
✂In 1943, during the middle of World War II, she owed almost $100,000 and was served a lien by the Internal Revenue Service. After fighting the lawsuits for eight years, she lost Poro to the government and other creditors, who by 1951 took control of her business enterprise — selling off most of the holdings to pay taxes.
She suffered financially from the devastating divorce (her second) and, soon thereafter, by two civil lawsuits, all during the Great Depression. The lawsuits (for liability to an employee and a St. Louis newspaper) partially crippled her ability to conduct business.