Madame C.J. Walker

Essay by drcarameldymeHigh School, 10th gradeB+, June 2004

download word file, 6 pages 4.5

The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker

Not many women were known as wealthy or well-known in the late 1800's. In fact, if you were black it would have been more difficult for you to want to achieve your dreams. There were many women who tried and tried to be successful and prove to people that women could actually become something. But in the 1890's, one black women was able to be successful in something that she wanted to achieve. I intend to prove that Madame C.J. Walker was the first African American woman entrepreneur who stressed that hygiene and personal appearance were cornerstones of self-respect.

On December 23, 1867, Sarah Breedlove was born on a cotton plantation in Delta, Louisiana. She was orphaned at seven during a yellow fever epidemic and moved with her sister to Vicksburg, Mississippi. At the age of 14 she married Moses McWilliams and had a daughter, A' Leila Walker.

Two years later, Moses died. When McWilliams died, Sarah traveled to St. Louis where she heard a laundress could make higher wages. Since she was a laundress she believed that while in the process of raising her daughter, she could support herself by being a laundress and attending night school.(Women in World History) For her spare time Sarah joined the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church. By befriending other members from the Church and the National Association of Colored Women, she viewed the world in a different way. "This is the greatest country under the sun," she said. "But we must not let our love of country, our patriotic loyalty cause us to abate one whit in our protest against wrong and injustice. We should protest until the America sense of justice is so aroused that such affairs as the East St. Louis riot...