The woman in this photograph is named Sarah Breedlove but she is more commonly known by the name Madame C J Walker. Walker is an example of an African-American woman who truly was a pioneer. And after getting to know the details her success story many would agree that she indeed proved to a trailblazer ahead of her time.
Walker an African-American woman of humble beginnings steadily rose through the “ranks” of plantation life . With no other alternative other than life than toiling as a worker in the plantation fields, Walker worked her way up to becoming a cook in the kitchen of the Main house of the plantation. That was no small achievement for anyone of African descent , but especially a woman in the post Slavery Era . Eventually her path of diligence and ambition would lead her to becoming the first black female millionaire.
Walkers path to wealth was paved by establishing herself as an entrepreneur by creating and manufacturing hair products and promoting hair care for Negro women.
In the early 1900’s, a time period well before the civil rights movement Negroes as African-Americans were then called, were still thought to be undeserving of the same treatment or rights that White Americans enjoyed. As a result, education and literacy among African-Americans at that time was uncommon.
Despite quite unfavorable circumstances she was faced with in her time, Walker a former plantation worker, saw a better life for herself. Walker refused to let the society and popular thinking of her time dictate what her potential could or should be. She must have had a true inner determination to succeed no matter what obstacles were seemingly in her way.
Fortunately, Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’lelia Bundles has preserved her legacy so that we know so much about her journey right down until today. The website Madam CJ Walker , highlights her story which is a lesser known success story in the history of Black Americans.