Madam C.J. Walker

Harlem Renaissance


Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867 in Louisiana. She was the first in her family to be free-born from slavery. At age 7, Sarah became an orphan. She moved to Mississippi, in 1877 with her brother-in-law and sister. At age 14, Sarah married a man named Moses McWilliams to escape her brutal work environment and the periodic mistreatment she received from her brother-in-law. In 1885, Sarah gave birth to a daughter named A'Lelia.Two years later Moses died.Sarah and her daughter moved to St. Louis.She became a washerwoman and attended public school.She later met Charles J. Walker, her second husband. He worked in advertising and helped promote her hair care business. In 1890,Sarah developed a scalp disorder that caused hair loss which made her experiment many remedies to treat her condition. She later demonstrates her "Walker Method" and used "Madam C.J. Walker" as her name. She developed a successful beauty business which made her now known as " the first American women to become self-made millionaire.At age 51, Madam C.J. Walker died of hypertension in 1919.
  • "Walker Agents" promoted Walker's philosophy of "cleanliness and loveliness" to advance the status of African-Americans
  • Walker organized clubs and conventions for her representatives as an educational purpose for African-Americans
  • Walker founded philanthropies which included educational scholarships and donations to elderly homes,National Association for Advancement of Colored People, and the National Conference of Lynching(organization focused on improving African American lives)
  • Donated the largest amount of money by an African-American for the Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.
Meet the First Self-Made Female Millionaire


(Bio & Major Contributions research)

By Polet Garcia