Madam C.J. Walker was born in 1867, two years after the civil war ended. She was a daughter of a slave. She had no formal education. Both her parents died by the time she was seven. Yet, by the time she died in 1919 at age 51, she was one of the most successful businesswomen America had ever seen.
From the beginning, Madam C. J. Walker's message was as much about hair and beauty as it was about empowering other women. She knew that confidence and self-assurance are key ingredients to success, and that true beauty comes from within.
You know the AME Church has a history of empowering black people and having an international outlook. So it was the women of the church who began to give Sarah Breedlove an image of herself as something other than an illiterate washerwoman, and she wanted to make her life better, and her daughter's life better.
By 1916, as Madam Walker herself was developing more assertive views on race, she was becoming eager to assume her place alongside Harlem's famous, influential and intriguing residents.
I was like other teenagers in the late 1960s; I too was very interested in having an Afro and getting rid of the perm that was in my hair.
There are five great ages of man - five moments when you need to reevaluate everything, clear out the cupboard and the wardrobe, and most importantly, your head. They are 13, 20, 30, 40 and 60. All men need to know this.
Twenty is a tough age because it slips past in the middle of so much else - university, gap year, leaving home, getting jobs.
Every man imagines that he will turn his suit like a double agent, that it can be twisted to his will with irony or comedy, that the man can undermine its origins.
You can propose marriage naked or in handcuffs, but no one is going to agree to forsake all others for a man in shorts. You can't declare war in shorts or deliver a eulogy in shorts.
Suits are malevolent magicians' sleeves for socialists, full of patrician loops and tricks, small, embroidered, cryptic messages of deference and privilege. They are ever the uniform of the enemy. They are also the greatest British invention ever.