February is Black History Month, a time to remember and reflect on great African American who have helped shape our country. One of those who is being honored is Madam C.J. Walker. She was a very successful businesswoman who was born to parents who were slaves and who went on to be the first self-made female millionaire in the United States. Through her hair care company Madam C.J. Walker not just became monetarily successful but became an icon of enterprise and entrepreneurship. Here are 7 facts about Madam C. J. Walker.
Madam C.J. Walker was born in 1867 and passed away in 1919.
She was born and named Sarah Breedlove and was one of six children.
Her parents and her older brothers and sisters were slaves at a Louisiana plantation.
She got married at the young age of 14 primarily to escape the abuse she was afflicted with by her brother-in-law who she lived with at the time. She had her daughter Lelia hen she was 17. Her husband died when she was twenty and she moved to St. Louis to live with her siblings.
She had suffered from hair loss due to a scalp disease and created her own shampoo that contained sulfur which heloed hair growth. She began to sell her products and later opened Lelia College which trained “Hair culturists, she then opened her headquarters and built a factory in Pittsburgh.
Madam C. J. Walker was known for helping other black women start and build their own businesses and was very generous with donating money to worthy causes.
Madam Walker is known to be – according to the Guinness Book of Records to be the first woman to became a millionaire by her own work.