• Michelle Smith

Amazing Melanated Mommies: 6

Updated: Apr 18, 2019

While African American history is too extraordinary to be summed up in a year, let alone a month, we will be celebrating phenomenal women who changed the world as we see it now all while raising children. If they can do it, so can we. Lets do it!!!

Madam CJ Walker, Born Sarah Breedlove was known to be the first African American woman millionaire and the wealthiest self made woman in America during her time. Sarah was the first in her family to be for free, only two years after the emancipation if slavery. Becoming an orphan at the age of 7 with only three months of education, Bleedlove was no stranger to fending for herself and being a survivor. At the age of 14 she married her first husband (allegedly to escape her brother-in-law’s abuse) and had a daughter. At the age of 20 Sarah was divorced and on her way to reside in St. Louis MO. She soon befriended a local African  American woman by the name of Annie Turnbo, later Malone, who some debate was actually the first African American woman millionaire. Through this acquaintance Bleedlove worked for Turnbo selling her “wonder hair grow” and gained an abundance of knowledge about African American hair care. It was also in St. Louis that Bleedlove married her husband Charles “CJ” Walker, in which she acquired her name. Walker went on to create her own hair care line, and with the help of her third husband’s successful marketing strategies the business continued to grow as she moved to Denver, Indianapolis and eventually Harlem. Not only was Madam CJ Walker an innovative business woman but she was also responsible for employing over what is said to be 20,000 African American women, served as a social activist and provided scholarships and funding for various African American charities and foundations. 

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