28 Days of Royalty: Madame C.J. Walker

Determined ♥ Innovative ♥ Inspiring.

Do you have a bright idea that you think can help many people and in the process pay your bills and possibly even send your children to college? Did you give up or slow down on that idea because it was just too difficult, strenuous and/or too time-consuming to achieve? This is perfect for you! Read on and learn about a courageous African-American woman who bravely built her company from the ground up even when all odds were stacked against her and her only daughter.

Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 on a Louisiana plantation that her parents sharecropped, Madame C.J. Walker would go on to become America’s first self-made female millionaire. Walker became an entrepreneur after suffering from a scalp disorder that resulted in severe hair loss. During the 1890’s, when her hair began to fall out, Walker sought remedies that she hoped would cure her scalp condition. In 1905, Walker began working as a sales agent for Annie Malone, another black female hair product entrepreneur. The sales position relocated Walker to Denver; this move became the catalyst for Walker’s success. There in Denver, she found her third (but short-term) husband Charles Joseph Walker, changed her name to “Madame” C.J. Walker, founded her own hair product business, and began a door-to-door sales hustle of her products. She strategically traveled the deep south to promote and teach interested potential customers how to get the most out of her products. As business picked up, Walker moved to Pittsburgh in 1908 to temporarily run her business and open a beauty college-like establishment to train her sales teams. The actions Walker took in her business were innovative, creative, and avante-garde. In 1910 she had moved her business to the then-largest inland manufacturing area, Indianapolis. There she built a factory, a one-stop shop (hair and nail beauty salon), and another beauty college. Throughout the growth of her “all-things hair and beauty” empire, Walker supported the efforts of black higher education and the civil rights movement. She donated generously to what we know today as Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU’s) and to organizations like the NAACP.

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Madame C.J. Walker December 23, 1867 - May 25, 1919

Madame C.J. Walker
December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919

“I got my start by giving myself a start.”

“One night I had a dream, and in that dream a big black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up for my hair. I made up my mind that I would begin to sell it.”

“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.”

– Madame C.J. Walker

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Embarking upon the entrepreneurship path is not an easy one but it is a well-worth-it one. Each individual is born with and acquire through schooling and training special skills and talents. If there is a special something you do well and enjoy doing, take the leap! Be bold and put the fears to the side. Become the entrepreneur you are absolutely capable of becoming. Requirements: Hard-work. Dedication. Time. Persistence. Patience and Positivity. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Do your homework and research whatever it is to learn more and to stay in the know.

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Work Cited

  • madamecjwalker.com
  • video: WSHH youtube
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28 Days of Royalty: Thurgood Marshall

What comes to mind when we think of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall?

Intelligent. Powerful. Activist. Strong. Fighter. Winner.

Born July 2nd, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland, Thurgood Marshall was the great-grandson of slaves. He was a smart young man growing up with goals to go to college then become a dentist. During high school he would get into trouble in the classroom and as his teacher’s disciplinary action, Marshall was instructed to memorize parts of the U.S. Constitution. To give you an idea of just how many times he found himself in a little trouble, by the time he had graduated from high school, Marshall had memorized the entire U.S. Constitution. September of 1926, he went on to attend college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Lincoln University.

Marshall had always held 2-3 part-time positions to make ends meet. He was a very skilled speaker; capable of persuading any crowd with his oratory skills. Embracing this skill, Marshall decided to change his course of study to law in his second year of college.

After being rejected from his first choice university — Maryland Law School — because of his race, Marshall went on to attend one of the most well-known historically black colleges today, Howard University. During his time at Howard, Marshall became an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1933, not only did Marshall graduate first in his class, he also passed the bar exam later that year.

He began fighting significant civil rights cases and made equality a reality for blacks. “Overall between 1940 and 1961, Marshall won 29 of the 32 cases he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court,” (about.com).

In December of 1952, Marshall argued the infamous Brown v Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court. This case was like no other. No longer were the NAACP and Marshall fighting for the segregated equal in “separate but equal” (Plessy v Ferguson 1896), but they were fighting for equal. Period.

May 17, 1954 the court ruled unanimously in Marshall’s favor. October 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall became Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Marshall served from the age of 59 to 82.

Thurgood Marshall  July 2, 1908 - January 24, 1993

Thurgood Marshall
July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993

“Today’s Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness [to all].”

“Customary greeting to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, ‘What’s shaking, chiefy baby?'”

– Thurgood Marshall

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The law is a fascinating subject. Knowledge of your country’s Constitution gives you power – just as it did for Marshall. Also, having the confidence and ambition to pursue your goal(s), whether if you started out with that goal or if it came into fruition years later after starting something totally different, takes strength and hard-work that we all possess. Like Nike says, Just Do It.

We want to know what path you chose – was it easy? Did you start out with this same path? Has it remained the same since you chose it? Comment below and let us know :)

xoxo

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Work Cited

28 Days of Royalty: Oprah Winfrey

28 Days of Royalty: Highlighting Black/African-American Trailblazers

Today, I share with you a little something about a woman who I have looked up to for years upon years and day-dreamed about sitting next to on her infamous couch. This beautiful woman puts the “O” in ‘awesOme’ (and ‘Outstanding’); in working towards becoming who she is today, she was Persistent, Resourceful, And Hard-working.

She is: Ms. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah

Oprah is a media guru, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is looked up to by many, young and old. She is courageous, influential, and pioneering. Like many successful people, Oprah started off small and went through her unique trials and tribulations. But as we can see – she finished off stronger than ever. Oprah works her a** off and her efforts continue to pay off – with her being a billionaire at the top of her game… (cues song: Started From The Bottom, Now We’re Here by Drake).

I leave you with this:

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”

– Oprah Winfrey

“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

– Oprah Winfrey

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We would love to hear from You! Who else in the media do you think is a great, positive influence and trailblazer? Please leave us a comment below :) xoxo

28 Days of Royalty: Highlighting Black/African-American Trailblazers

celebrate-black-history-month

With today being the 8th of February, I’m clearly a tiny bit late with the timing of my latest “late night bright idea”, BUT it’s never too late to execute something great for Black History Month. My “late night bright idea” came to me lastnight as I lay in bed reflecting on the day’s worth of work I was able to accomplish. The “late night bright idea” was to write once a day this month (in no particular order) about a great Black/African-American person, event, place, time period, or anything else “Black” and/or relevant. So, let’s get started :)