Madame CJ Walker

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Social Studies
African-American History

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Madame CJ Walker

After suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss,"I want the great masses of my people to take a greater pride in their personal appearance and to give their hair proper attention."She invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905. She promoted her products by traveling about the country giving lecture-demonstrations and eventually established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians. Her savvy business acumen led her to become the first female self-made millionaire in the United States who donated the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913. She was rivaled only by the countless philanthropic endeavors for which she is also known.


23 Dec 1867Sarah Breedlove is born in Delta, Louisiana23 Dec 1875Sarah is orphaned.23 Dec 1905Moves to Denver, Colorado to start her business.23 Dec 1908Opens Lelia College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to train other women to use and sell her hair products.23 Dec 1910Builds factory in Indianapolis, Indiana; begins to work for civil rights for African Americans.

Created a complete range of haircare products for black women, which sold throughout the country.Toured, attended conferences, and trained her representatives - such things were almost unheard of at the timeThe first black millionaire businesswoman.

Lasting Impact

"I got my start by giving myself a start."

Economic FreedomCompetitionPrivate PropertyContractsSelf interest




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Major Economic Prinicples


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