Profile for Stephanie Modkins


Women Who Rock: Madame CJ Walker

MADAME C.J. WALKER (1867-1919)

Did you struggle in school? Come from an abusive family? Marry the wrong man? If so, you have the makings of a success, if the amazing life of Madam C.J. Walker is anything to go by.

One of the most successful female entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on Dec. 23, 1867. She began life in poverty, which included backbreaking work in the cotton fields of Delta, La. By the time she was seven, both her parents were dead, leaving her under the care of an older sister, Louvenia. Unfortunately, Louvenia was married to an abusive man, which led Walker to marry early in order to escape. Four years into the marriage, her husband, Moses McWilliams, died, leaving Walker to raise their only child, Lelia, alone. This marked the turning point of her life. Keep reading »

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