Why is she Mrs. C.J. Walker? It really was a matter of her trying to insist that people respect her, because during that time, white people would call any black woman 'Sally.' 'Aunt Sally.' So this was like... you can't call me that.
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.
It takes a long time, I think, to get to the place where you realize you may love the hairstyle that somebody else has.
I think a lot of times, the historical piece is often a way to comment on the present.
Madam Walker was an incredible woman, but she wasn't the only one of her time who was. She just took it to the highest height.
Women of African descent, since the beginning of time, have altered their hair, decorated it and used it to designate status.
Everyone has to go to a funeral at some time and you need to be dark and sombre, and in a black tie.
I don't have prejudices against anybody. I have opinions, based on a lifetime's experience.
Have you noticed that almost all the change in the world goes to women? When was the last time you had a five pence piece? Exactly. In a Christmas pudding. All the rest of it is in women's handbags.
When I joined the Sunday Times the people I was competing with were all 10 or 15 years younger, they all had double firsts from Oxford or Cambridge, they were all bright as new pins.