BLACK AMERICAN HISTORY (7)
SARAH “MADAM C. J. WALKER” BREEDLOVE, according to Sharon Bingaman, was the first American Female self-made Millionaire. Born in 1867 as Sarah Breedlove to Enslaved/share cropper parents in Delta, Louisiana, she started working in the crop fields at an early age. At age 7 both her parents passed away and she moved in with her older sister. At age 14 Sarah ran off & got married, and at age 17 gave birth to her daughter, Lelia. At age 19, her husband was murdered by a White lynch mob and she subsequently moved to St Louis, Missouri where her brother lived. She took jobs as a cook and house cleaner to provide for her family. After the untimely passing of her Brother, Sarah moved to Denver with only two dollars in her pocket. Again she took jobs as a cook and domestic helper. While weathering the many stresses of life, her hair began to fall out; but she was able to develop her own solution to remedy the problem. Sarah developed her own shampoo and an ointment that contained sulfur to make her scalp healthier for hair growth. She began selling her hair product to friends in her community, as needed. In 1906 she married Charles Joseph (C.J.) Walker, a budding newspaper advertising salesman. The now “Madam C.J. Walker” worked tirelessly to expand the sales of her hair products. In 1908 she opened Lelia College in Pittsburgh to train hair culturists. In 1910 Walker moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she established her headquarters and built a factory for Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. She focused solely on the company and growing the enterprise across the United States, leading to her having over 20,000 sales agents across the States. Madam Walker also gave lectures on political, economic and social issues at conventions sponsored by powerful Black institutions. She taught and trained Black women to build their own businesses. In 1917, she moved to her Irvington-on-Hudson, New York Estate, “Villa Lewaro,” which had been designed by Vertner Tandy, the first licensed Black architect in New York State and a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Madam C.J. Walker also supported many social movements of the time and contributed generously to their causes. She gave the largest contribution to save the Anacostia house of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Madam Walker passed away in 1919 at 51 years of age. Her daughter A’Lelia Walker took over her Business empire. Madam CJ Walker is the 21st Honoree in the USPS Black Heritage Stamp Series and has a New York City Block named in her honor. She was also inducted into the the National Women’s Hall of Fame and National Cosmetology Hall of Fame.
Phil Brooks (19xx) first USA Patent for a disposable syringe; Emmett Chapplle (1925) Scientist who made contributions to medicine, biology, food science, and astrochemistry; James Harris (1932) co-discovered Rutherfordium (element 104) & Hafnimum (element 105); Louis T. Wright (1891-1952) Surgeon led first use of the antibiotic Aureomycin; Kwabena Boaen (19xx) Bioengineer for Silicon retina, able to process images in same manner as a living retina; James E West (1931) Acoustic inventor co-developed the foil electrets microphone; Ernest Just (1883-1941) Marine Biologist provided basic and initial description of the structure-function-property relationship of the plasma membrane of biological cells–world authority on fertilization in marine life.; Walter Sammons (1890-1973) Patent for hot comb; Miriam Benjamin (18xx-1969) Educator invented “Gong and Signal Chair for Hotels—second Black woman to receive a patent; Virgie Ammons (19xx) invented Fireplace burner; D.H. WILLIAMS (1856-1931) performed the world’s first open heart surgery in 1893; Dr. CHARLES DREW (1904-1950) is responsible for millions of soldiers and civilians being alive because of his success with preservation of blood plasma for emergency transfusions; LLOYD HALL (1894-1971), a pioneer in food chemistry, has helped make food more enjoyable and healthier; J.H. and S.L. DICKINSON had a dozen patents for mechanical appliances used in player piano machinery; W.B. PURVIS invented the fountain pen, hand stamp, and paper bag making machinery; A.B. ALBERT, a cotton-picking machine; C.V. RICHEY, devices for registering calls and detecting unauthorized use of telephones; S.J. DAVIDSON, the adding machine; A.F. HILYER, two hot-air register attachments. jabaileymd.com