Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C.J . Walker – Sarah Breedlove – was a highly successful entrepreneur, widely considered to be the first Black millionaire.

Walker was known and respected not only for her business acumen but for her inspirational political and social advocacy and her philanthropy. The daughter of former enslaved people, Walker worked initially as a washerwoman until she devised a hair care and grooming system to meet the needs of Black women in 1905. Supervising the manufacture of a variety of products, she also developed an enormous marketing network, headquartered in Indianapolis, which employed thousands of Black women and was the largest Black owned business in the nation.

Walker encouraged women’s economic independence by training others and by serving as a powerful role model. As the wealthiest Black woman of her time, Walker used her prominent position to oppose racial discrimination, and her massive wealth to support civic, educational and social institutions to assist Black Americans.

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1867 - 1919
Born In: Louisiana
Achievements: Business
Worked In: Colorado, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, United States of America