Question of the Day [Black History Month]: How did Madame CJ Walker become the first American woman to be a self-made millionaire?
Answer: She invented a line of African American hair products and promoted them by traveling around the country giving lecture-demonstrations and eventually established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians.
- What characteristics do you think Madame CJ Walker had that made her such a successful entrepreneur?
- Why was it important that Madame CJ Walker not only invented an important product, but also committed time and energy to share it with people all over the country?
- She recognized a need and designed a product to solve that need. Where do you see a need in your community that can be solved by a new product or service?
Behind the numbers (Biography.com):
"Madame C.J. Walker invented a line of African American hair products after suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss. She promoted her products by traveling around the country giving lecture-demonstrations and eventually established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians.
Her business acumen led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. She was also known for her philanthropic endeavors, including a donation toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.
Also a civil rights activist, in 1917, Madame C.J. Walker was part of a delegation that traveled to the White House to petition President Woodrow Wilson to make lynching a federal crime."
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About the Author
After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.
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