|December 23rd, 1867
|May 25th, 1919
|“Don’t sit and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”
|First self-made female millionaire in the U.S, massive donations to the arts, inspiring millions of African Americans to open their own businesses.
|Region of World
|United States, 19th century.
|The 7 Greatest Early 20th Century U.S Entrepreneurs
Madam C.J Walker is considered by many to be a role model for modern women due to her 3 major accomplishments. Having been born right after the Emancipation Proclamation she was the first free woman born into a former slave family.
At the early age of seven, she would be orphaned and moved with her brother-in-law to Vicksburg, Mississippi where she would work as a domestic servant. She only had 3 months of formal education during her young life.
Today history remembers Madam C.J Walker for her 3 major accomplishments. First, she became the first self-made woman millionaire in the U.S. Second, she provided huge donations to the arts. Third, she inspired generations of African Americans to open their own businesses.
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Without further ado, here are the 3 major accomplishments of Madam C.J Walker.
First Major Accomplishment: Becoming the First Female Millionaire in the United States
One of the major accomplishments of Madam C.J Walker was the creation of one of the world’s most successful beauty businesses.
Madam C.J Walker suffered her entire life from severe dandruff that resulted in her developing multiple hair problems.
At an early age, she would learn from her brothers, who were working as barbers, how to care properly for hair and what products to use.
This interest was further cultivated when in 1904 she became a commission sales agent for fellow haircare entrepreneur Annie Malone.
While working for Ms. Malone Madam C.J Walker would begin to develop her own hair care products that would ultimately compete with her former employer.
In 1906 Madam C.J Walker would marry her husband Charles Walker. After having a child the new family would move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they would open their own beauty parlor along with establishing a local college to train product salespeople.
As a result, the family’s business exploded in Pittsburgh. However, Madam C.J Walker’s net worth really exploded when in 1913 the family decided to open a salon in the growing neighborhood of Harlem in New York City.
Following the same business practices of training salespeople along with providing hair services Madam C.J Walker’s net worth would explode over the coming years.
As a result, she would become the first woman in the United States with a net worth of over a million dollars. Following this success, she would expand internationally into other countries such as Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Costa Rica, and Panama.
At her peak, Madam C.J Walker employed around 20,000 hair care salespeople.
This is one of her major accomplishments. She became the first Female Millionaire in the history of the United States.
Second Major Accomplishment: Providing Huge Donations to Social Welfare and the Arts
One of the major accomplishments of Madam C.J Walker was her donations to the arts.
One of Madam C.J Walker’s primary donations was centered around the burgeoning music scene across the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She would donate huge amounts of money to encourage diversity within theaters.
Further, she fought heavily against prejudice throughout her entire life. On numerous accounts, she would donate to people who were discriminated against. One example can be seen in her helping to organize the Silent Protest Parade to shed light on a protest in Saint Louis that killed over 30 African Americans.
She also donated a significant amount of money to preserve the Anacostia house, Fredrick Douglass’s primary residence while in DC. Right before her death, in 1919, Walker donated the largest donation ever received by the NAACP.
This history of giving back is one of Madam C.J Walker’s major accomplishments.
Third Major Accomplishment: Inspiring Generations of African-Americans to Open Their Own Businesses
One of the major accomplishments of Madam C.J Walker was her lasting inspiration.
For around 50 years after her death many did not know of the legendary entrepreneur, however today she is receiving a lot of renewed interest.
It’s not hard to see why. Madam C.J Walker was born as a first-generation free woman in a former slave family. Over the course of her life, she would teach herself and developed a keen sense of business.
From this business sense, she would become the first Woman in the United States to become a millionaire. In Harlem alone, she served as an inspiration to hundreds of people who would venture out to create their own businesses.
However, as time progresses more and more people have become inspired by Madam C.J Walker’s story of perseverance and tenacity.
As a result of this Netflix recently created a T.V series titled Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J Walker. As we can see one of her major accomplishments was the way she has inspired people even up to today.
There you have it; an entire article that goes over the 3 major accomplishments of Madam C.J Walker.
Over a century ago Madam C.J Walker would rise from obscurity to becoming one of the most successful American entrepreneurs of all time.
Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you liked content like this then feel free to share around the internet.
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