Madame C.J Walker: The photo was taken in 1913 by Addison Scurlock

About Madame C.J. Walker

Madam C.J Walker, born as Sarah Breedlove in December of 1867, is well known for being the first female millionaire in history. She was renowned for being an established African American entrepreneur with a successful business selling hair care products for black women. In celebration of Black History Month, ReJoyce felt it would be nice to pay her homage through a timeline, highlighting her greatest feats.

Timeline of Madam C.J Walker.

1867 – Sarah Breedlove is born to Owen and Minerva, both slaves for the Madison Parish plantation. Being born after the Emancipation Proclamation, Sarah was free. As were her 5 siblings.

1881 – Sarah is living with her eldest sister and brother-in-law, who abused her regularly. She meets and marries Moses McWilliams to escape her living situation.

1884 – Sarah bears a child, Lelia McWilliams.

1886 – Moses Passes away. Sarah gets a job as a washperson so she can send her daughter to school.

 1904 –Sarah begins to experience hair loss, pushing her to explore hair care products.

1906 – Sarah marries Charles Joseph Walker, who teaches her about advertising and promotion.

1917 – Sarah holds the first conference of the Madam Walker Beauty Culturists in Philadelphia. She took this opportunity to stress the importance of philanthropy and political activism. She was more than a beauty consultant.

1917 – Sarah commissions the first licensed black architect in New York, Vertner Tandy, to design her family’s home. This cost her about $250,000

1918 – Sarah donates 50k to an organization’s anti-lynching fund. This same year she writes in her will that 2/3 of her net profits and estate will go to charity.

1919 – On May 25th of 1919 Madam Walker passes away from kidney failure and complications with hypertension at the young age of 51.

Although her life ended too soon, Madame Walker used her time on earth wisely. She was a brilliant and kind-hearted soul. Madame Walker’s legacy lives on through her great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, who continues to run a blog in Walker’s memory. According to MCJW Beauty Culture | Inspired by Madam C.J. Walker, Madam Walker’s products continue to inspire hair care products today.


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