This is day in black history: Madame C.J. Walker is born

On December 23, 1869, Madam C.J. Walker who was a businesswoman and the first African American woman millionaire, was born. She amassed her fortune through hard work, innovative ideas, and a fierce dedication to her craft and her people. Contrary to most historical accounts, Madame C.J. Walker did not invent the pressing comb. Per her own words, Madame Walker started the “hair-growing” business, born out her desire to remedy her own hair loss.

Photo Courtesy of

Photo: Courtesy of

Walker was also an early civil rights advocate on behalf of Black people, and an avid financial supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. By the time of her passing in 1919, Madame C.J. Walker had built one of the largest black owned manufacturing companies in the world, with an international network of over 15,000 Madame Walker agents, beauty schools in three states, and a 32 room mansion at Irvington-on-the-Hudson, New York.


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