Sarah Breedlovea.k.a. Madam C.J. Walker December 23, 1867-May 25, 1919 Presented byZabia L. Burton, 5thGrade Presented to Miss Love "I got my start by giving myself a start." - Madam C.J. Walker
From Washerwoman to Scientist/Inventor • Overview: Sarah Breedlove, a.k.a. Madam C.J. Walker built a successful cosmetics company and became one of the most influential African-American women of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Family Background • Born: Sarah Breedlove • Changed Name: Madam C.J. Walker • DOB: December 23, 1867 • POB: Delta, Louisiana • DOD: May 25, 1919 • POD: New York, New York
The Early Years Parents • Former-slaves Owen and Minerva Breedlove • Died when she was 7 years old
The Early Years • Siblings: Louvenia [sister], Alexander, James, Solomon, Owen, Jr. [brothers] • MarriedMoses McWilliams at age 14 • Gave birthto a daughter, Lelia (later known as A’Lelia Walker)---1885
Madam C.J. Walker’s Accomplishments “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”.
Inspired by Need • During the 1880s, Sarah began to suffer from a scalp disease that made her lose some of her hair. • Because she was embarrassed by the way she looked, she experimented with some homemade remedies made by another black woman, Annie Malone. • In 1905, Sarah became a sales agent for Ms. Malone and moved to Denver where she married Charles Joseph Walker.
Wonderful Hair Grower • Sarah changed her name to Madam C.J. Walker (due to her husband’s name), and started her own business selling her hair product called Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower. • WHG was a scalp conditioning and healing formula. • Her product led to the opening of a college in Pittsburgh to train her “hair culturists.”
This is where it all began . . . The Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company.
Other Famous Products • Glossine Pressing Oil • Walker’s hair care products and grooming system were designed specifically to meet the needs of African-American women.
Before and After Before using hair care products After using hair care products
The Walker System • The Walker System had a straightening effect that was very appealing for many black and some white women, and was much more effective and healthy than the popular method of using a hot iron.
Other Accomplishments • Founded the “The Walker College of Hair Culture” and “Walker Manufacturing Company” • Employed 3,000 people and 20,000 agents • Became the wealthiest black woman in history at the time of her death (First black female millionaire) Madam Walker and some of her agents
Her Awards • Inducted into the National Business Hall of Fame at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago • Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame • Honored with a U. S. postage stamp as part of the Black Heritage Series in 1998
Her Influence • Madam C.J. Walker was an inspiration to many black women. She helped other black women start their own businesses after she gained major success by becoming the first African-American millionaire.
Words from the Woman Herself • “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” • “I am not satisfied in making money for myself. I endeavor to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race.”