Madam CJ Walker is a historical female role model any young girl can look up to. The daughter of former slaves, she transformed herself from a farm laborer as a child to a successful entrepreneur, who by the time she reached her 40s, had built a hair care empire and her own factory in Indianapolis.
In a 1912 speech for the National Negro Business League Convention, she said: “I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations….I have built my own factory on my own ground.”
What you might not know about Madame CJ Walker is that she “invented a fragrance for philandering men called Eau No You Didn’t,” jokes comedian Abbi Crutchfield. Crutchfield is the producer of The Living Room show in Brooklyn, NY and has appeared in national television commercials for Home Goods and iO digital cable. She has been featured in BUST magazine and on VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors.
Crutchfield let me in on lots of little known “facts” about Black History, including:
- Oprah’s generosity can be traced back to grade school when she gave away her bologna sandwiches on a weekly basis.
- Interracial people whose ethnicity is hard to determine celebrate Black Mystery Month.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s children played homemade board games like “I Have a Dream Date” and “Candy Promised Land.”
- Josephine Baker was bilingual and was the first to coin the French phrase, “C’est what?”
- George Washington Carver promoted crops of peanuts as alternatives to cotton, which is why peanut butter stains are so hard to remove from t-shirts.
- Famed poet and author Maya Angelou briefly excelled in real-estate with her popular property brochure “Still High Rise.”