“Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come . . . get up and make them!”
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 >>
Source for quote above: A’Lelia Bundles, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker. New York: Scribner, 2001: 153.