By: Chestiny Fair, MS, Bryan University Faculty and IDEA Committee Member
Black History Month is a month of observance and a chance to celebrate Black achievement in the U.S. The IDEA Committee would like to bring appreciation and acknowledgment to those within the Black community who have contributed to history by honoring the life of Madam C.J. Walker. She was the first Black woman millionaire in America. She made her millions due to creating the first line of hair care products for Black women.
Mrs. Walker had issues with hair loss and wanted to create a line of products that would help reduce the loss of hair. The “Walker System” was developed due to her scalp disorder. She developed her product line at home, and many women would purchase them directly from her. It was stated that the products were good for moisturizing the hair and giving it shine.
In 1908, Walker opened a beauty school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Over three thousand people worked for Walker. Her company sold the hair products door-to-door.
Madam C.J. Walker’s products are still sold today. She died in 1919, but she is remembered as the pioneering Black female entrepreneur who has inspired and paved the way for many Black women business owners today. A recently released movie called “Self Made,” tells her story.
We encourage you to learn more about Black History Month and members of the Black community who have contributed greatly to American history and culture.