Madam C. J. Walker
Sarah Breedlove McWilliams Walker (1867–1919), known professionally as Madam C. J. Walker, was born to parents who were once enslaved. She started life as a farm laborer and laundress, but became a pioneer of the modern African American hair care and cosmetics industry.
Seeking to remedy her own hair loss, she invented a system of hair and scalp hygiene and treatment. She incorporated her company in 1911, and it grew into a successful international business that made her a millionaire. An innovator, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist, Walker once advised, "Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come . . . get up and make them!"
Listen to a two-part podcast with A'Lelia Bundles, Madam C. J. Walker's great-great-granddaughter >>