Friday, February 3, 2012

Fly Times Black History Fact - Madame C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919), born Sarah Breedlove, was an African-American businesswoman, hair care entrepreneur and philanthropist. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a hugely successful line of beauty and hair products for black women under the company she founded, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Like many women of her era, Sarah experienced hair loss. Because most Americans lacked indoor plumbing, central heating and electricity,and they bathed and washed their hair infrequently. The result was scalp disease. Sarah experimented with home remedies and products already on the market until she finally developed her own shampoo and an ointment that contained sulfur to make her scalp healthier for hair growth. Soon Sarah, now known as Madam C. J. Walker, was selling her products throughout the United States. While her daughter Lelia ran a mail order business from Denver, Madam Walker and her husband traveled throughout the southern and eastern states. They settled in Pittsburgh in 1908 and opened Lelia College to train "hair culturists." In 1910 Walker moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she established her headquarters and built a factory. She was the 1st African American millionaire based off their own success.

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