Date of this Version
Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 7, No. 1 -- January 2009
Madame C.J. Walker's name has been synonymous with black hair and hair care products and until I began to research her life for this report, I believed that this was her major claim to fame. I found I greatly underestimated the contributions to African American and American history this extraordinary woman made. "I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations ... I have built my own factory on my own ground.~' -Madam Walker, National Negro Business League Convention, July 1912
W. E. B. Du Bois's obituary of her in the August 1919 issue of The Crisis stated, "It is given to few persons to transform a people in a generation. Yet this was done by the late Madam C. J. Walker."