Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919) – Civil Rights Activist, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur
Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on a cotton plantation near Delta, Louisiana. Her parents were recently freed slaves, and Sarah, their fifth child, was the first in her family to be freeborn. Sarah began to experiment with both home remedies and store-bought hair care treatments in an attempt to improve her scalp disorder which caused her to lose much of her hair. At this point her husband Charles J. Walker encouraged her to use the more recognizable name “Madame C.J. Walker.” She and her husband traveled around the South and Southeast promoting her products and giving lecture demonstrations of her “Walker Method” using her own formula for pomade, brushing and the use of heated combs.
An innovator, Walker organized clubs and conventions for her representatives, which recognized both their sales success and their philanthropic and educational efforts among African-Americans. She founded philanthropies that included educational scholarships and donations to homes for the elderly, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Conference on Lynching. She also donated the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction on an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.
We honor Madam C.J. Walker for her philanthropic work which makes her a Legacy Champ. If you want to be a Legacy Champ in your own special way, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and / or probate issues.