What is Black History Month?
Observed every year since 1926, Black History Month originated in the US with historian Carter G. Woodson. Carter suggested designating a week to celebrate African Americans and launched “Negro History Week” which was the precursor to Black History Month. BHM is observed in the US with
a variety of events including programs at colleges, museums, public schools and in local communities. Today, Black History Month is also celebrated in most if not all western cultures around Europe and the first world. Additionally, the festival is celebrated by a different theme each year and 2022 brings health and wellness of black people to the forefront.
Madam C. J. Walker
This month we have chosen to honor business woman and entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker for the achievements she was able to accomplish during an extremely difficult period in time for black people to prosper.
Walker established her empire as a self-made businesswoman in the 19th century by developing unique products for African American hair care and distributing them across the country. Walker, who was a native of Louisiana, finally became the first female self-made millionaire in the world, shattering
a significant barrier for women and black business owners. Few people are aware of Madam C. J. Walker’s entrepreneurial journey, despite the fact that many are familiar with her popular hair care product. She was the first child of her household to be born free when she was named Sarah
Breedlove in 1867. Her parents and elder siblings had all been held as slaves on a farm in Delta, Louisiana. Walker was an inspirational figure because of her dedication to enhancing the lives of African Americans. Her generosity also helped to increase her business’s revenues, making her the
nation’s first woman millionaire. demonstrating that entrepreneurship is more than just generating money; it also involves identifying needs, addressing them, and ensuring that the solutions have a connection to the communities they benefit.
Death and legacy
At the age of 51, Walker passed away on May 25, 1919, from problems related to hypertension and renal failure. Walker’s remains are buried at New York City’s Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Walker was estimated to be valued somewhere between $500,000 and $1,000,000 at the time of her passing. She was the richest woman of African descent in the country.
Walker remarked herself two years prior [in 1917] that she was not yet a billionaire, but aspired to be one, not because she desired the wealth for herself, but for the good she could accomplish with it. This was stated in The New York Times obituary for Walker. Her $250,000 residence was constructed near the Hudson River’s banks in Irvington that year, according to the obituary. Later, A’Lelia Walker, her daughter, rose to the position of president of the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company.